Single family housing starts up 4.2% in October

Single-family housing production in October reached its highest level since November 2013 while the more volatile multifamily sector brought combined nationwide starts activity down 2.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.009 million units, according to newly released figures from the HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The rise in single-family starts is more proof that the economy is firming and consumer confidence is growing,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly.  “We expect continued upward momentum into next year.”

“The increase in single-family starts shows that the housing market continues to recover at a steady, gradual pace,” said  NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.  “On the multifamily side, production is stabilizing above historic levels as demand for rental housing increases.”

The 2.8% decline in overall starts in October was due primarily to a 15.4% decline on the multifamily side, which brought that sector’s annual production pace to 313,000 units on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. Meanwhile, single-family starts posted a 4.6% gain to 696,000 units.

Regionally in October, combined housing production dropped in Northeast, Midwest and West, with respective losses of 16.4%, 18.5% and 10.9%. Total production rose in the South by 10.1%.

Issuance of building permits registered a 4.8% gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.08 million units in October. Multifamily permits rose 10% to 440,000 units while single-family permits increased 1.4% to 640,000 units.

Regionally, the Northeast and Midwest registered overall permit losses of 21.5% and 11.4%, respectively. The South and West posted respective gains of 8.8% and 21.6%.