Steel Markets

Housing Starts and Permits Jump in October

Written by Sandy Williams

Housing starts grew 3.8 percent from September to October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,314,000 and rose 8.5 percent from October 2018, according to the latest report from the Commerce Department and U.S. Housing and Urban Development. Single-family housing starts were up 2 percent from September and housing starts in buildings of five units or more grew 6.8 percent.

New home“Thanks to lower mortgage interest rates, the seasonally adjusted annual pace of single-family permits has been rising since April, the rate of single-family starts has been increasing since May, and the 3-month moving average for single-family construction is at a post-recession high,” said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

On a regional basis, single-family starts were down 14 percent year-over-year in the Northeast, down 8 percent in the West, down 6 percent in the Midwest and up 5 percent in the South. Dietz attributed the regional differences to land availability and cost.

Permit authorizations grew 5 percent from September to a SAAR of 1,461,000 and 14.1 percent year-over-year. Single-family permits increased 3.2 percent from the previous month, while multi-unit permits rose 6.1 percent.

On a year-to-date basis, permits were 9.2 percent higher in the Northeast and 5.2 percent higher in the South, but were down 5 percent in the Midwest and 1.4 percent in the West.

“Single-family permits have been increasing since April, and single-family starts have been rising since May as the home construction rebound continues,” said Dietz. “We expect additional single-family growth as areas beyond the exurbs respond to for-sale housing demand and healthy labor markets.”

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