Builders Start More Homes in October

November 21, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Housing starts continued to climb in October, but at a much slower pace than in September, as housing starts for single-family homes remained flat between the two months while housing starts for multi-family housing posted another double-digit gain according to the latest data released by the Census Bureau.

Historically housing starts begin to slow by October, but an extremely low supply of existing homes and rising prices have helped to make new homes a more attractive alternative.

Housing Starts:

Privately owned housing starts increased by 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000 in October from a revised estimate of 863,000 in September. Housing starts were 34.8 percent higher than in October 2011 which had an estimated 647,000 starts. Housing starts in September were downwardly revised from 872,000 to 863,000 decreasing September’s 15.0 percent gain to 13.9 percent.

Single-family housing starts were slightly lower in October, with starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 594,000, down 0.2 percent from a revised estimate of 595,000 starts in September but were still 35.3 percent higher than in October of last year when an estimated 439,000 starts were reported.

Housing starts for multi-family dwellings increased by 10.0 percent from a revised rate of 259,000 starts in September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 285,000 starts in October. Housing starts for multi-family dwellings were 62.7 percent higher than a year ago when an estimated 175,000 starts were recorded.

On an unadjusted basis, housing starts increased by 0.01 percent, climbing from 77,800 starts to 77,900 starts.

Regionally, monthly housing starts increased in two of the four regions with the West posting the largest gain of 17.2 percent followed by the Midwest with an 8.9 percent increase. The Northeast suffered the largest decline, falling 6.5 percent, while the South posted a decline of 2.5 percent.

Compared to a year ago, all four of the regions posted increases in housing starts with the West posting the largest increase of 73.1 percent, followed by the Midwest with a 44.5 percent gain while the South and the Northeast posted gains of 34.3 and 10.8 percent, respectively.

Building Permits:

The number of building permits issued in October fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 866,000, down 2.7 percent from a revised estimate of 890,000 permits in September. Authorized building permits were still 29.8 percent higher than the October 2011 estimate of 667,000.

Single-family building permit authorizations were 2.2 percent higher in October than September with 562,000 permits authorized in October compared to a revised 550,000 in September. Building permit authorizations for single-family homes were 26.6 percent higher than in October of last year which had an estimated 444,000 permits issued.

Multi-family dwelling permits in October fell to 280,000 authorizations from a revised total of 313,000 in September, a decline of 10.5 percent. Authorizations for multi-family dwellings were 40.7 percent higher than in October of last year which had an estimated 199,000 authorizations.

Building permit authorizations increased in two of the four of the regions in October. In the Midwest, authorizations rose by 4.1 percent followed by the South where authorizations increased by 0.7 percent. In the West, authorizations fell by 10.7 percent between September and October and in the Northeast, authorizations tumbled 12.5percent between the two months.

Year-over-year, building permit authorizations increased in all four regions with the Midwest posting the largest increase of 38.5 percent, closely followed by the West which posted a 38.3 percent increase and the South and the Northeast which saw gains of 26.5 and 16.7 percent, respectively.

Housing Completions:

The number of homes that were completed during the month increased by 14.5 percent from September to October with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 772,000 completions reported in October compared to September’s revised estimate of 674,000 completions. Housing completions were 33.6 percent higher than in October of last year when an estimated 578,000 completions were reported.

Single-family completions in October were at an annual rate of 52442,000 units, which was 3.4 percent higher than September’s revised rate of 524,000 and 21.8 percent above last year’s rate of 445,000 units. Multi-family completions in October were at a rate of 226,000 units, 55.9 percent higher than the 145,000 units completed in September and 79.4 percent lower than the 126,000 completions in October of last year.

On an unadjusted basis, housing completions are 11.5 percent ahead of last year’s pace at this same time.

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

Source:
Census Bureau