BPEA | 1970 No. 2

Recovery for Homebuilding?

Craig Swan
Craig Swan University of Minnesota

1970, No. 2

HOUSING STARTS SEEMED POISED for substantial gains during the second
half of 1970 following a depressed level of activity during the first half of
the year. From January to June total private housing starts were at an
average annual rate of 1,266,000 units, compared with rates of 1,467,000
units for the year 1969 and 1,357,000 units for the fourth quarter of 1969.
Month-to-month movements in housing starts have a large erratic element
and should be interpreted with care. While starts for July through September
have shown wide variation, they have all been above the monthly rates
for January to June and have averaged 1,506,000 units (annual rate). If one
looks at factors influencing housing activity, virtually every indicator points
toward continuation of recovery during the rest of the year from the
apparent trough in housing starts in the first quarter of 1970.