Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, went down 1.8 percent to a rate of 865 thousand units while starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment jumped 6.2 percent to a rate of 343 thousand. Starts increased in the South (4.7 percent to 596 thousand) and the Midwest (32.9 percent to 210 thousand). Meanwhile, declines were seen in the Northeast (-34.1 percent to 87 thousand) and the West (-4.6 percent to 335 thousand). Starts for September were revised to 1,210 thousand from 1,201 thousand.
Building permits fell 0.6 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,263 thousand in October 2018, while markets were expecting a bigger 0.8 percent drop. Single-family authorizations declined 0.6 percent to 849 thousand and multi-family permits went down 0.5 percent to 414 thousand. Across regions, permits fell in the South (-2.4 percent to 648 thousand) and West (-7.9 percent to 313 thousand), but went up in the Midwest (9.4 percent to 187 thousand) and Northeast (21.1 percent to 115 thousand). Permits for September were revised to 1,263 thousand from 1,241 thousand.
Year-on-year, housing starts fell 2.9 percent and building permits went down 6 percent.