The monthly new construction data was released this Friday to almost non-existent coverage. Nothing in my news feed at 8:30 AM. I thought I had the wrong date. Watching business news - I haven't heard a thing. I haven't seen a thing. All the news is the "Amazon Effect" and the purchase of Whole Foods, in cash, by Amazon. People are starting new home construction and completing construction. The number of units under construction continues to creep higher than we have seen during the past seven years.

May new single family starts at a ten year high. There were 76,800 single family starts during May 2017. This is better than any May since, and including, May 2008. It is also fewer than were started during the month of May during the span from 1983 through 2008. We can't have completions without starts. We cannot have sales without completions. Will we see a surge next May as we did during May 1983? It is tough to tell. The news that needs to be addressed is that we have seen over 800,000 starts during the past 12 months.

We have a solid number of units under Construction. There are nearly 1.1 million units under construction. The only time in recent history when we had more units under construction during May was during the boom years of 2004-2007. This column has asked whether or not this means that we may be seeing an over-supply of new homes. It has also asked whether or not this oversupply will help offset the under-supply of existing homes.

May total housing units completed were higher than May 2008-2016. The thing of note here is that the trend is also higher, as was seen in the rolling year data for starts. The trend for completions is similar to the trend for starts. These completions bode well for future sales. Sales data will be released later this month.

There were minor revisions to the starts data, the under construction data and the completions data. This receives little attention elsewhere.  The starts data for March and April were revised down from their advance and preliminary levels. The completions data were revised upward for March and April. The Under Construction data for March and April were revised higher while their total numbers are declining. 

The message today is that the new home market continues to improve and has a long way to go to hit levels seen during the peak pre-recession levels. The new home market has a synergistic impact on furniture sales, electronics and appliance sales, and Home and Garden sales. The May MARTS retail report revealed that furniture sector is doing extremely well , as is the Home and Garden Sector. The electronics and appliance sector has been in decline for some time. This report should mean continuing improvement in the retail sector. Improvements in the retail sector may mean further improvements in the jobs market, which is off to the best first four month start of any President since, and including, President Reagan.

It's the economy.

 Reclaiming Common Sense