Housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.06 million, a decrease of 11.0% compared with 1.19 million in September and a decrease of 1.8% compared with 1.08 million in October 2014, according to figures jointly released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Starts of single-family homes were at a rate of about 722,000, a decrease of 2.4% compared with the revised September figure of 740,000. Starts of multifamily units were at a rate of about 327,000, down 25.5% compared with about 439,000 in September.
Building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.15 million, an increase of 4.1% compared with the revised September rate of about 1.10 million and an increase of 2.7% compared with the October 2014 estimate of 1.12 million.
Permits for single-family homes were at a rate of about 711,000, an increase of 2.4% compared with the revised September figure of about 694,000. Permits for multifamily units were at a rate of 405,000, up from 374,000 in September.
Housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 965,000, a decrease of 6.0% compared with the revised September estimate of 1.03 million but an increase of 5.2% compared with the October 2014 rate of 917,000.
Completions of single-family homes were at a rate of about 640,000, a decrease of 0.5% compared with the revised September rate of about 643,000. Completions of multifamily units were at an annual rate of about 318,000, down 15.4% compared with 376,000 in September.
In a statement, Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), says, ‘Even though starts dropped in October, they have stayed above the one million mark for seven straight months – the longest streak in almost seven years.’
He adds that the sharp decrease in housing starts in October ‘can be attributable to the volatile multifamily sector adjusting to trend after an unusually high September, as well as the storms and flooding affecting single-family production in the South.’
‘However, with permits ticking upward, we expect to see the housing market continue to grow at a modest pace,’ Woods says.
Regionally, housing starts increased 15% in the Midwest and 10.2% in the Northeast.
Meanwhile, the South fell 18.6% and the West dropped 16.2%.
In terms of permits, the South increased 7.5%, the Northeast increased 5.9% and the Midwest increased 2.4%. The West fell 2.6%.