Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Housing Starts


“Housing Starts” is a term used in the economic and real estate sector to describe the number of new residential construction projects that have begun during any particular month. It is considered a key indicator of economic strength and consumer demand. The data, including number and types of houses, are released monthly by government bodies like the U.S. Census Bureau.


The phonetics of the keyword “Housing Starts” is: /ˈhaʊzɪŋ stɑːrts/

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Housing Start represents the number of new residential construction projects that have begun during any particular month. It is a critical economic indicator as it provides signals about the direction of the economy and helps in predicting future real estate sales. </li><li>Housing Starts data can considerably affect the stock market. A surge in housing starts indicates an expanding economy and can influence positively on building or construction related stocks. Conversely, a drop indicates a slowdown, which can affect negatively.</li><li>There can be considerable volatility in the housing starts data depending on the prevailing economic conditions and government policies. Therefore, while analyzing housing starts data, one must also take into account the broader economic scenario and the housing market trends in both the short and long term. </li></ol>


Housing Starts is a critical economic indicator as it reflects the number of new residential construction projects that have begun in a particular period. It is important because it provides insight into the economic health of a region or country. It signifies the confidence of developers in the construction market, which is influenced by factors such as interest rates, consumer confidence, and overall economic conditions. This data directly impacts construction, real estate, and related industries, such as home furnishings. Moreover, as building homes generates employment and stimulates related retail activity, strong housing start figures can signal a thriving economy. Conversely, decreases in housing start figures can indicate economic slowdown. Therefore, understanding housing starts can help predict future economic growth or recession.


Housing Starts serves as a critical economic indicator reflecting the health of the economy and construction industry. By tracking the number of residential building projects initiated in a given period, investors, economists, and policymakers gauge consumer sentiment, employment levels, and anticipated economic activity. This data helps to inform the decisions of those involved in various related sectors—real estate, banking, retail, to name a few, who adjust their strategies according to the levels of housing activity. High or increasing levels of Housing Starts indicate a prosperous economy, high consumer confidence, and potential growth. On the contrary, declining levels suggest cautiousness, poor economic scenarios, or potential downturns.Furthermore, Housing Starts not only serve as an economic indicator but also facilitate economic activity directly. As homebuilding initiates, it sets in motion a cascade of spending that reverberates across multiple sectors of the economy. Construction companies procure building materials, hire labor, and make investments. Homebuyers often purchase new appliances, furniture, and various services when they move into new homes. Furthermore, building projects contribute to local tax revenues. Therefore, Housing Starts provide a way to extrapolate a significant portion of the future economic activity, making it a valuable tool for economic forecasting and policy formulation.


1. “USA Housing Starts” Report: Every month, the US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development publish a report on new residential construction (known as Housing Starts). In August 2021, they reported an increase of 3.9% in new home construction compared to the previous month, resulting from the continuous demand in the housing market.2. “Canadian Housing Starts” Boom: In January 2021, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that the country’s housing starts surged to the highest level in more than a decade due to a dramatic increase in multiple-unit projects – particularly in provinces like Quebec and Ontario. This increased housing start indicated a boom in Canada’s residential construction industry.3. Japanese “Housing Starts” Trend: The Statistics Bureau of Japan periodically releases data on housing starts. In their December 2020 report, they highlighted a declining trend in housing starts reflecting a broader slowdown in the economy due to the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A critic might use this as an example to argue that housing starts are a good indicator of a country’s economic health and stability.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What are Housing Starts?

Housing Starts refers to the number of new residential construction projects that have begun during a particular period. This data is used as an economic indicator in many countries including the U.S.

Why are Housing Starts significant in the economic scenario?

The Housing Starts data is a key economic indicator as it provides insights into the state of the economy. Higher rates of housing starts signify greater economic activity, higher employment levels, and positive consumer confidence.

How does Housing Starts affect the economy?

Housing Starts have a strong influence on the economy. When new homes are being built, it means jobs are created, and money is being pumped back into the economy. It is also an indicator of consumer sentiment about the economy.

From where is data on Housing Starts acquired?

The data on Housing Starts is typically acquired from government departments like the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which release monthly reports on new residential construction.

Can Housing Starts predict economic trends or recession periods?

Yes, Housing Starts can help predict economic trends. Declining Housing Starts can be an early warning sign of an upcoming recession as it indicates that the construction sector is slowing down. However, it should be used alongside other economic indicators for a more accurate forecast.

How does the Housing Starts data impact the real estate market?

The Housing Starts data can have a significant impact on the real estate market as a sudden increase in Housing Starts could potentially lead to an oversupply in homes, causing home prices to drop. Conversely, a significant decrease in Housing Starts may result in home shortage, driving the prices up.

How often is Housing Starts data published?

The Housing Starts data in the U.S. is typically published monthly by the Department of Commerce.

How can investors utilize Housing Starts data?

Investors can use Housing Starts data to make decisions about investing in the housing sector. A trend of increasing Housing Starts may indicate a good time to invest in construction or home improvement companies, while a downward trend may suggest otherwise.

Are Housing Starts figures adjusted for seasonal variations?

Yes, Housing Starts figures are usually seasonally adjusted to account for fluctuations that occur due to changing weather conditions, holidays, and the school calendar.

How does the housing starts data relate to the construction sector?

Housing Starts data is a key indicator of the health of the construction industry. An increase in housing starts suggests that the construction sector is growing or booming, while a decrease can signal a slowdown or contraction in the sector.

Related Finance Terms

  • Residential Construction: The process of building, renovating, or demolishing houses, condominiums, and other dwellings.
  • Real Estate Market: The environment where buyers and sellers interact to trade residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
  • Building Permits: Authorization required by a governmental body before the construction of a new or existing building can legally occur.
  • Construction Industry: An economic sector that involves the construction, alteration, maintenance, and repair of buildings, infrastructure, and other physical structures.
  • Economic Indicators: Statistical figures, such as housing starts, that indicate current and future economic trends and are often used for economic forecasting and planning.

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More