Housing Starts Down in September

New Residential Construction: Housing Starts, Building Permits Strong in September

Housing starts fell at a 4.7% month-over-month clip to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.127 million, missing the Bloomberg consensus of 1.175 million. Housing starts has been expected to edge down by 0.5 percent.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000. Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 829,000; this is 4.6% (±8.5%)* below the revised August figure of 869,000. "Nationwide single-family permits are up this month, and year-to-date single-family starts are 9.1 percent ahead of their level over the same period last year-two indicators that this sector continues to improve". However, single-family authorizations in September were 2.4% above August's figure. This is 4.5% (±1.6%) below the revised August rate of 1,272,000 and is 4.3% (±1.7%) below the September 2016 rate of 1,270,000. Starts were also down in the Northeast and Midwest, but they rose 15% in the West.

New building permits decreased during the month, falling 4.5% to 1.215 million.

Despite the monthly decrease, the Commerce Department said housing starts in September were up by 6.1 percent compared to the same month a year ago. This number is more volatile than the single-family number and has moved mostly sideways since 2013.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders released a separate report showing an unexpected improvement in USA homebuilder confidence in the month of October. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged compared to the previous month.

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