What are 'Housing Starts'

Housing starts are the number of new residential construction projects that have begun during any particular month. The New Residential Construction Report, commonly referred to as "housing starts," is considered to be a critical indicator of economic strength. Housing start statistics are released on or around the 17th of each month by the U.S. Commerce Department. The report includes building permits, housing starts and housing completions data. Surveys of homebuilders nationwide are used to compile the data.

BREAKING DOWN 'Housing Starts'

Investors and analysts watch the housing starts figures each month, comparing them with previous months' data and year-over-year periods. Because housing starts can be significantly affected by weather, the numbers are also presented as seasonally adjusted and smoothed using statistical formulas. The housing starts data are often revised to reflect the most current evaluations. Housing is a key part of the U.S. economy, which has an effect on related industries, such as banking, the mortgage sector, raw materials, employment, construction, manufacturing and real estate. In a strong economy, people are more likely to purchase new homes; conversely, in a weak economy, people are less likely to buy new homes.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Building Activity Indicators

    Economic reports that tell investors about the current and projected ...
  2. Construction Mortgage

    A loan borrowed to finance the construction of a home and typically ...
  3. Housing Bonds

    Debt securities issued by state or local governments to raise ...
  4. Housing Bubble

    A run-up in housing prices fueled by demand, speculation and ...
  5. Construction Loan

    A short-term loan used to finance the building of a home or another ...
  6. House Poor

    A situation that describes a person who spends a large proportion ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Real Estate Indicators For Prospective Homebuyers

    If you want to buy a home but you’re holding out until market conditions show signs of improvement, housing indicators can help point the way.
  2. Managing Wealth

    Top U.S. Housing Market Indicators

    A quick overview of the top economic indicators to track the housing market in the U.S.
  3. Investing

    8 Signs Of A Real Estate Rebound

    Wondering when prices will start to turn around in your area? We'll show you how to get in the know.
  4. Investing

    Where International Real Estate Is Booming

    Which country has the hottest property market right now? The answer will undoubtedly surprise you.
  5. Personal Finance

    8 Signs Your Neighborhood Is On The Upswing

    If you were hard-hit by the real estate crash, you may be wondering when things will get better for you. We show you how to keep tabs.
  6. Investing

    5 Ways an Open House Can Actually Hurt Your Home Sale

    They may be more trouble than they're worth.
  7. Personal Finance

    Top 5 States For Construction Workers

    If you work in construction, these states may offer the best working conditions for you.
  8. Insights

    The Canadian Economy, At A Glance

    The 12 economic indicators described here together provide a comprehensive picture of the state of the Canadian economy.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between housing starts and building permits?

    Both housing starts and building permits are economic indicators used to assess the health of the housing market, but their ... Read Answer >>
  2. Is there a correlation between inflation and house prices?

    There is a correlation between inflation and house prices - in fact there are correlations between inflation and any good ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Free Cash Flow - FCF

    A measure of financial performance calculated as operating cash flow minus capital expenditures. Free cash flow (FCF) represents ...
  2. Leverage Ratio

    Any ratio used to calculate the financial leverage of a company to get an idea of the company's methods of financing or to ...
  3. Two And Twenty

    A type of compensation structure that hedge fund managers typically employ in which part of compensation is performance based. ...
  4. Market Capitalization

    The total dollar market value of all of a company's outstanding shares. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying ...
  5. Expense Ratio

    A measure of what it costs an investment company to operate a mutual fund. An expense ratio is determined through an annual ...
  6. Mezzanine Financing

    A hybrid of debt and equity financing that is typically used to finance the expansion of existing companies. Mezzanine financing ...
Trading Center