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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Recover
by Tom Moeller  November 17, 2017

Total housing starts increased 13.7% (-2.9% y/y) during October to 1.290 million units (AR) following a 3.2% September decline to 1.135 million, revised from 1.127 million. The latest level was the highest in twelve months. A level of 1.186 million starts had been expected in the Action Economic Forecast Survey. September's figures reflected declines due to hurricanes in Texas & Florida.

Starts of single-family homes rose 5.3% (0.7% y/y) to 877,000, the highest level since February. Multi-family starts jumped 36.9% (-9.6% y/y) to 413,000, a nine-month high.

Housing starts in the Northeast jumped 42.2% (-10.5% y/y), recovering after three straight months of sharp decline. Housing starts in the South rose 17.2% (-0.5% y/y) following two months of decline. Starts in the Midwest increased 18.4% (7.1% y/y) after strengthening for two months. In the West, housing starts declined 3.7% (-9.3% y/y) after two months of moderate increase.

Building permits increased 5.9% (0.9% y/y) to 1.297 million, also reaching a nine-month high, after a 3.7% September fall. Single-family permits rose 1.9% (7.7% y/y) to 839,000, after increasing 2.9%. Permits to build multi-family homes strengthened 13.9% (-9.5% y/y) to 458,000, after declining 14.8%.

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 % 2016 2015 2014
Total 1,290 1,135 1,172 -2.9 1,177 1,107 1,001
 Single-Family 877 833 871 0.7 784 712 647
 Multi-Family  413 302 301 -9.6 393 395 355
Starts By Region
 Northeast 145 102 108 -10.5 116 136 109
 Midwest 212 179 171 7.1 185 150 159
 South 621 530 583 -0.5 584 556 497
 West 312 324 310 -9.3 292 265 236
Building Permits 1,297 1,225 1,272 0.9 1,207 1,178 1,053
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