Housing Starts Rise

Nationwide housing starts in September regained the ground they lost in a steep decline the previous month, but issuance of building permits - a key indicator of future building activity - continued on a downward trend, according to numbers released by the U.S. Census Department recently.

September housing starts rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.77 million units, in close alignment with July's 1.76 million-unit rate and the third quarter's average of 1.74 million units. Single-family starts were up 4.3 percent to a rate of 1.43 million units, while multifamily starts were up 12.7 percent to a rate of 346,000 units.

Regionally, starts rose 14 percent and 3.4 percent in the South and Midwest, respectively, but fell 14.1 percent and 2.2 percent in the Northeast and West, respectively.

Issuance of total building permits, which can be a good indicator of future building activity, declined 6.3 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.62 million units. Single-family permits were down 6 percent to a 1.21 million-unit rate while multifamily permits fell 7 percent to a rate of 412,000. Permits were down 3 percent in the Northeast, 6.9 percent in the Midwest and 9.5 percent in the South, and recorded no change from the previous month in the West.


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