Housing Starts Flat, Multi-Family Building Permits Surge

November 18, 2011 (Chris Moore)

Housing starts remained flat in October but building permits surged by almost 11 percent as permits for multi-family dwellings increased by 30 percent according to the latest data released by the Census Bureau.

Privately owned housing starts increased by 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000 in October from a revised estimate of 630,000 in September. Housing starts were 16.5 percent higher than in October 2010 which had an estimated 539,000 starts.

Single-family housing starts increased in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000, up 3.9 percent from a revised estimate of 414,000 starts in September but down 0.9 percent from October of last year which reported an estimated 434,000 starts.

Housing starts for multi-family dwellings fell 13.3 percent from an upwardly revised 211,000 starts in September to 183,000 starts in October. Housing starts for multi-family dwellings were 96.8 percent higher than a year ago when an estimated 93,000 starts were recorded.

The number of building permits issued in October increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 653,000, up 10.9 percent from a revised estimate of 589,000 in September. Authorized building permits were 17.7 percent higher than the October 2010 estimate of 555,000.

Single-family building permit authorizations were 5.1 percent higher in October than September with 434,000 permits authorized in October compared to a revised 413,000 in September. Building permit authorizations for single-family homes were 6.6 percent higher than in October of last year which had an estimated 407,000 permits issued.

Multi-family dwelling permits in October increased to 202,000 authorizations from a revised total of 156,000 in September, a 29.5 percent gain. Authorizations for multi-family dwellings were 62.9 percent higher than in October of last year which had an estimated 124,000 authorizations.

Housing completions posted a 5.7 percent decline in October compared to September with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 584,000 completions reported in October compared to September’s revised estimate of 619,000 completions. Housing completions in October were 2.8 percent lower than in October of last year when an estimated 601,000 completions were reported.

Single-family completions in October were at a rate of 453,000, which was 7.1 percent higher than September’s revised rate of 423,000. Multi-family completions in October were at a rate of 129,000, which was 30.3 percent lower than September’s 185,000 completions.

Regionally, monthly housing starts increased in three of the four regions with the Northeast posting the largest gain of 17.2 percent, followed by the Midwest at 9.7 percent and the South at 11.6 percent, while the West posted the only decline of 16.5 percent.

Compared to a year ago, two of the four regions posted an increase in housing starts with the South posting a 4.4 percent increase while the West posted a 3.9 percent increase. The Northeast posted the largest decline of 22.8 percent and the Midwest saw a decline of 5.4 percent.

Building permit authorizations increased in two of the four regions in October compared to September. In the South, authorizations increased 21.5 percent and in the West authorizations increased 5.4 percent. In the Midwest, building permit authorizations were 3.7 percent lower, while in the Northeast, authorizations were 1.6 percent lower.

Building permit authorizations also increased in two of the four regions compared to a year ago with the West and the South posting gains, while the Northeast and the Midwest reported declines.

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

Source:
Census Bureau