MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
May builder confidence plummets for fifth straight month to lowest level since June 2020
Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell eight points to 69 in May. This is the fifth straight month that builder sentiment has declined and the lowest reading since June 2020. The HMI index gauging current sales conditions fell eight points to 78, the gauge measuring sales expectations in the next six months dropped 10 points to 63 and the component charting traffic of prospective buyers posted a nine-point decline to 52.
Housing starts slip 0.2 percent in April but up 14.6 percent year-on-year
Privately‐owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,724,000. This is 0.2 percent below the revised March estimate of 1,728,000 but is 14.6 percent above the April 2021 rate of 1,505,000. Single‐family housing starts in April were at a rate of 1,100,000; this is 7.3 percent below the revised March figure of 1,187,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 612,000.
Building permits fall 3.2 percent in April but up 3.1 percent year-on-year
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,819,000.
This is 3.2 percent below the revised March rate of 1,879,000, but is 3.1 percent above the April 2021 rate of 1,765,000. Single‐ family authorizations in April were at a rate of 1,110,000; this is 4.6 percent below the revised March figure of 1,163,000.
Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 656,000 in April
Retail sales rise 0.9 percent in April and 8.2 percent year-on-year
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April 2022, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $677.7 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent from the previous month, and 8.2 percent above April 2021. Total sales for the February 2022 through April 2022 period were up 10.8 percent from the same period a year ago.