Multifamily Drop Pushes Housing Starts Down 11% in October, Permits Rise

Filed in Economics, Home Building by on November 18, 2015 1 Comment

Led by a steep drop in multifamily production, nationwide housing starts fell 11% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.06 million units in October, according to newly released data from the HUD and the Commerce Department. Multifamily starts declined 25.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 338,000 units while single-family production edged down 2.4% to 722,000 units. Both sectors posted permit gains.

“The fact that permits are rising is consistent with our builders’ continued optimism in the housing market,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods. “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.”

Combined single- and multifamily starts rose in the Northeast and Midwest, with respective gains of 10.2% and 15%. Meanwhile the South fell 18.6% and the West dropped 16.2%.

Overall permit issuance rose 4.1% to 1.15 million units in October. Multifamily permits rose 6.8% to a rate of 439,000 while single-family permits increased 2.4% to 711,000.

“This month’s decline 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,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, with permits ticking upward, we expect to see the housing market continue to grow at a modest pace.”

Regionally, the Northeast, Midwest and South posted respective permit gains of 5.9%, 2.4% and 7.5%. The West fell 2.6%


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  1. Anticipate sales increases in all product and price points through the year end into the first quarter of 2016.
    Apartment living costs continue to increase. It now costs less to purchase a single family home in most markets than living in an apartment.
    ONwards and UPwards!

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