Apartment Construction Pushes Housing Starts Up 15 Percent

October 19, 2011 (Chris Moore)

A fifty percent increase in apartment construction pushed total housing starts up by 15 percent from August to September while construction of single-family homes remained in the doldrums according to the latest data released by the Census Bureau.

Privately owned housing starts increased by 15.0 percent in September compared to August with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 658,000 starts reported in September compared to August’s revised estimate of 572,000 starts. Housing starts were 10.2 percent higher than the September 2010 rate of 597,000 starts.

Single-family housing starts in September increased from August’s revised figure of 418,000 to 425,000, an increase of 1.7 percent, and multi-family dwellings jumped 53.4 percent from a revised 148,000 starts in August to 227,000 in September.

The number of building permits issued in September was lower than in August as builders were authorized a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 594,000 permits in September compared to a revised 625,000 in August, a decline of 5.0 percent. The number of permits issued were still above last years levels, which had an estimated 562,000 permits authorized.

Single-family building permit authorizations were 0.2 percent lower in September than August with 417,000 permits authorized compared to a revised 418,000 in August. Multi-family dwelling permits in September decreased to 158,000 authorizations from a revised amount of 182,000 in August.

Housing completions posted a gain in September compared to August with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 647,000 completions reported compared to August’s revised estimate of 634,000 completions. Housing completions in September were 2.1 percent higher than the September 2010 rate of 634,000 completions.

Single-family completions in September were at a rate of 428,000, which was 11.6 percent lower than August’s revised rate of 484,000. Multi-family completions in September were at a rate of 208,000 which was 43.4 percent higher than August’s 145,000 completions.

Regionally, monthly housing starts increased in all four regions with the West posting the largest gain of 18.1 percent followed by the South at 15.7 percent, the Northeast at 12.7 percent, and the Midwest with a gain of 9.3 percent.

Compared to a year ago, two of the four regions posted an increase in housing starts with the West again leading with a 22.6 percent increase while the South posted a 13.8 percent increase. The Northeast posted the largest decline of 10.1 percent and the Midwest saw a decline of 3.1 percent.

Building permit authorizations increased in three of the four regions in September compared to August. In the Midwest, authorizations increased 12.5 percent and in the South authorizations increased 1.4 percent. In the West, building permit authorizations were 18.0 percent higher, while in the Northeast authorizations were 5.9 percent lower.

Building permit authorizations increased in three of the four regions compared to a year ago with only the Northeast posting a decline.

Tags: housing starts, single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, building permits, housing completions

Source:
Census Bureau