October Housing Starts Jump 25.5%

NAHBWASHINGTON — Led by impressive gains in both single-family and multifamily production, nationwide housing starts surged 25.5% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.32 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family starts reached their highest level since October 2007 while multifamily production jumped 68.8% from the previous month.

“These robust figures correlate with strong builder optimism in the housing market,” said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. “A firming job market, a growing economy and rising household formations will keep the housing recovery on track into next year.”

“Multifamily production bounced back after an unusually weak reading last month while single-family starts exhibited unusually strong growth as well,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Though October’s single- and multifamily production rates are clearly unsustainable, we expect continued growth in the housing sector in the months ahead.”

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Single-family starts rose 10.7% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 869,000 units while multifamily production climbed 68.8% to 454,000 units.

Combined single- and multifamily starts posted double-digit gains in all four regions in October. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West increased 44.8%, 44.1%, 17.9% and 23.2%, respectively.

Overall permit issuance edged up 0.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.23 million in October. Single-family permits rose 2.7% to a rate of 762,000, while multifamily permits fell 3.3% to 467,000.

Permit issuance increased 12.1% in the Midwest and 7.5% in the West. Meanwhile, the Northeast and South posted respective losses of 21.1% and 2.4%.

Source: NAHB