Housing Starts and Permits Post Double Digit Increases

October 22, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Low inventory of existing homes may have spurred the nation’s homebuilders to increase production as housing starts made a surprising double-digit jump in September according to the latest data released by the Census Bureau.

Housing starts look to continue to make a strong showing as filings for building permits also increased by double digits.

Housing Starts:

Privately owned housing starts increased by 15.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 in September from a revised estimate of 758,000 in August. Housing starts were 34.8 percent higher than in September 2011 which had an estimated 647,000 starts. Housing starts in August were upwardly revised from 750,000 to 758,000 increasing August’s 2.3 percent gain to 4.1 percent.

Single-family housing starts moved higher in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 543,000, up 11.0 percent from a revised estimate of 506,000 starts in August and were 42.9 percent higher than in September of last year when an estimated 422,000 starts were reported.

Housing starts for multi-family dwellings increased by 25.0 percent from a revised rate of 208,000 starts in August to a seasonally adjusted rate of 260,000 starts in September. Housing starts for multi-family dwellings were 18.7 percent higher than a year ago when an estimated 219,000 starts were recorded.

On an unadjusted basis, housing starts increased by 12.7 percent climbing from 70,100 starts to 79,000 starts.

Regionally, monthly housing starts increased in three of the four regions with the West posting the largest gain of 20.1 percent followed closely by the South with a 19.9 percent increase and the Midwest saw a gain of 6.7 percent. The Northeast suffered the only decline, falling 5.1 percent between the two months.

Compared to a year ago, all four of the regions posted increases in housing starts with the Northeast posting the largest increase of 51.7 percent, followed by the Midwest with a 36.2 percent gain while the South and the West posted gains of 33.4 and 20.6 percent, respectively.

Building Permits:

The number of building permits issued in September increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000, up 11.6 percent from a revised estimate of 801,000 permits in August. Authorized building permits were 45.1 percent higher than the September 2011 estimate of 616,000.

Single-family building permit authorizations were 6.7 percent higher in September than August with 545,000 permits authorized in September compared to a revised 511,000 in August. Building permit authorizations for single-family homes were 27.3 percent higher than in September of last year which had an estimated 428,000 permits issued.

Multi-family dwelling permits in September climbed to 323,000 authorizations from a revised total of 263,000 in August, a gain of 22.8 percent. Authorizations for multi-family dwellings were 93.4 percent higher than in September of last year which had an estimated 167,000 authorizations.

Building permit authorizations increased in all four of the regions in September compared to August. In the Midwest, authorizations rose by 19.5 percent followed by the West where authorizations increased by 11.3 percent. In the South, authorizations increased by 10.5 percent between August and September and in the Northeast, authorizations increased 6.0 percent between the two months.

Year-over-year, building permit authorizations also increased in all four regions with the West posting the largest increase of 56.8 percent, followed by the South which posted a 47.2 percent increase and the Midwest and the Northeast which saw gains of 33.6 and 31.3 percent, respectively.

Housing Completions:

The number homes that were completed increased by 0.4 percent from August to September with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 683,000 completions reported in September compared to August’s revised estimate of 680,000 completions. Housing completions were 13.8 percent higher than in September of last year when an estimated 600,000 completions were reported.

Single-family completions in September were at an annual rate of 524,000 units, which was 8.5 percent higher than August’s revised rate of 483,000 and 23.6 percent above last year’s rate of 424,000 units. Multi-family completions in September were at a rate of 145,000 units, 22.9 percent lower than the 188,000 units completed in August and 12.7 percent lower than the 166,000 completions in September of last year.

On an unadjusted basis, housing completions are 8.8 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