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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Reach 2007 High; Permits Improve
by Tom Moeller  November 17, 2016

Housing starts increased 25.5% (23.3% y/y) during October to 1.323 million (AR) following a September decline to 1.054 million, revised from 1.047 million. It was the highest level of starts since August 2007. Expectations were for 1.155 million starts in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Starts of single-family homes increased 10.7% (21.7% y/y) to 869,000 from 785,000. It too was the highest level since 2007. Starts of multi-family units rebounded by more than two-thirds (26.5% y/y) to 454,000 from 269,000. It was the highest level since June of last year.

By region, starts in the Northeast jumped 44.8% (2.2% y/y) to 139,000 following a 28.4% drop. Starts in the Midwest increased 44.1% (24.4% y/y) to 219,000 after a 9.5% decline. Starts in the West improved 23.2% (40.2% y/y) to 345,000 after a 7.0% decline. Starts in the South gained 17.9% (20.4% y/y) to 620,000 following a 53.8% drop.

Building permits nudged 0.3% higher (4.6% y/y) to 1.229 million on the heels of a 6.3% rise. It was the highest level of permits since November. Single-family permits increased 2.7% (5.1% y/y) to 762,000, but multi-family permits declined 3.3% (+3.8% y/y) to 467,000.

The housing starts and permits figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 1,323 1,054 1,164 23.3 1,107 1,001 928
 Single-Family 869 785 724 21.7 713 648 618
 Multi-Family 454 269 440 26.5 395 356 307
Starts By Region
 Northeast 139 96 134 2.2 136 110 97
 Midwest 219 152 168 24.4 151 163 150
 South 620 526 561 20.4 555 496 464
 West 345 280 301 40.2 265 235 215
Building Permits 1,229 1,225 1,152 4.6 1,164 1,052 991
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