Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Single-family housing starts dropped 1.1 percent in October following downwardly revised increases in August and September. August was revised from a 1.4 percent gain down to a 1.2 percent gain, and September’s increase was adjusted from 4.4 percent down to 2.1 percent. These revisions along with October’s decline left the pace of starts at 436,000 annual units, not far above record lows reached last January and roughly 75 percent below pre-bust levels in late-2005. Single-family starts currently sit 8.2 percent below the year-ago pace. Multi-family starts had a much tougher October than the single-family series, plummeting 43.5 percent and causing total starts to reach an 18-month low pace of 519,000 annual units. However, since multi-family construction is volatile and comprises a considerably smaller portion of total starts, single-family starts give a more reliable picture of monthly home construction trends. Permits for single-family homes, which indicate the probable future direction of starts, rose for the first time in six months, increasing 1.0 percent in October. Permits are low but stable, at 406,000 annual units, roughly where they have been since July.