Get Our Email Newsletter

Single-family starts flat in October

Single-family construction held steady in October as high mortgage rates depressed demand but more buyers turned to new homes because of a lack of existing inventory.

Overall housing starts increased 1.9% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.37 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to analysis from the National Association of Home Builders, the October reading of 1.37 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts increased 0.2% to a 970,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate. However, single-family starts are down 10.6% year-to-date. Despite higher interest rates in October, the lack of existing home inventory supported demand for new construction in the fall. NAHB is forecasting improving conditions for single-family home building, as the 10-year Treasury rate has returned to near 4.5%, with an outright gain for single-family starts in 2024.

LBM Resources

White Paper: Omnichannel integrates all aspects of retail

Omnichannel Retail is Essential and More Than Marketing, Sales

The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 6.3% to an annualized 402,000 pace. However, multifamily construction 5-plus unit starts are down more than 12% on a year-to-date basis with additional weakness in the forecast ahead. NAHB is forecasting a decline for multifamily construction in 2024.

On a regional and year-to-date basis, combined single-family and multifamily starts are 22% lower in the Northeast, 11.2% lower in the Midwest, 7.8% lower in the South and 15.3% lower in the West.

Overall permits increased 1.1% to a 1.49 million unit annualized rate in October. Single-family permits increased 0.5% to a 968,000 unit rate. However, single-family permits are down 10.6% year-to-date. Multifamily permits increased 2.2% to an annualized 519,000 pace.

- Advertisement -

Looking at regional permit data on a year-to-date basis, permits are 19.5% lower in the Northeast, 16.7% lower in the Midwest, 11.3% lower in the South and 15.8% lower in the West.

There are currently 669,000 single-family homes under construction, down almost 15% from a year ago. In contrast, there are more than one million apartments under construction, near the highest total since 1973. This number will decline in the months ahead as permits weaken due to tight financing conditions.

Get our free newsletter

Join thousands of other lumber and building material industry leaders and keep up with the companies, people, products and issues shaping the industry.

What's New

Digital Partners

Become a digital partner ...

Sales Comp Study

Download this 55-page, in-depth study by LBM Journal of industry trends in sales force compensation and benefits. See how your organization stacks up.


- Advertisement -

White Papers

View all ...

- Advertisement -

Partner Content

View all ...

- Advertisement -

It looks like you're using an ad blocker?

LBM Journal is only made possible with the support of our advertisers, but it appears that you have ad blocking enabled. Please disable ad blocking for this site. Thank you!

LBM Journal

Get the 2023 LBM Journal Sales Compensation & Benefits Study