The starts estimate is not similar to the sales estimate because the sales estimate only includes statistics for one-family homes that were built to be sold. The starts estimate includes multi-family units. It also includes single-family homes that were not built for sale.
Homes that are not built for sale include: homes for which a contract has been signed to have a builder build a custom home on the owner's land, homes for which the owner of the land acts as the general contractor, and homes that are built as rental units. These homes, though not followed in the sales survey, are followed up through to their completion.