US Housing Starts Fall for 2nd Month

Housing starts in the United States tumbled 9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1047 thousand in September from August of 2016, below market expectations of 1175 thousand. It is the lowest figure since March of 2015, due to a fall in construction of multifamily homes. In contrast, building permits rose 6.3 percent to 1225 thousand, beating expectations of 1165 thousand.

Starts declined in the South (-5.3 percent to 532 thousand), the Midwest (-14.1 percent to 146 thousand) and the Northeast (-36 percent to 87 thousand) and were flat at 282 thousand in the West. 

Housing starts for the volatile multi-family segment shrank 38.9 percent to 250 thousand while single-family homes, the largest segment of the market, rose 8.1 percent to 783 thousand. For the single family segment, biggest gains occured in the Northeast (20 percent to 60 thousand), followed by the South (12.1 percent to 426 thousand) and the Midwest (6.3 percent to 118 thousand) but fell in the West (-2.2 percent to 179 thousand). 

Building permits reached the highest since November. Increases occured in the South (2.6 percent to 594 thousand), the West (15.8 percent to 316 thousand) and the Northeast (23.6 percent to 131 thousand) while permits fell 5.2 percent to 184 thousand in the Midwest. Multi-family permits rose 17.2 percent to 449 thousand and the single-family segment edged up 0.4 percent to 739 thousand.

August figures for housing starts were revised upwards to 1150 thousand from 1142 thousand, representing a 5.6 percent fall (-5.8 percent earlier reported). Building permits were also revised up to 1152 thousand from 1139 thousand, a 0.7 percent gain compared to intial estimates of a 0.4 percent fall.

Year-on-year, housing starts declined 11.9 percent in September while building permits increased 8.5 percent.

US Housing Starts Fall for 2nd Month

U.S. Census Bureau | Joana Taborda |
10/19/2016 1:15:17 PM