U.S. Housing Starts Jump a Whopping 25.5% in October

Numbers reported by the Commerce Department suggest residential construction has ramped up to meet continuous demand.

WASHINGTON – Housing starts in the United States spiked 25.5% to 1.32 million, marking the fastest jump since August 2007, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday (Nov. 17). The increase from September was the largest since July 1982. Multifamily-home building rose an impressive 68.8%

The massive increase more than makes up for the unexpected 9.5% decline recorded in September. The surprisingly strong increase in October reflected a full rebound in multi-unit starts, and more unexpectedly, a sizeable increase in single unit starts.

The 68.8% increase in multiunits more than made up for a 39% decline in September, the worst monthly drop since the financial crisis, and leaves that component at its strongest level in more than a year. A 10.7% increase in single unit starts built on an 8.4% gain in September with that component now at its strongest pace since October 2007.

The increase was broad-based with all four regions in the nation experiencing starts more than fully recover from the previous month’s declines. The Northeast and Midwest saw the most significant gains (up nearly 45% in both regions), while the South and West saw smaller percentage increases but still contributed strongly to the overall rise in starts.

Building permits rose for a third consecutive month, although the gain in October was a modest 0.3%. With the surge in starts, permit issuance is now lagging housing starts by nearly 10,000 annualized units year-to-date, according to the report.

“Housing starts soaring past the 1.3 million mark for the first time since 2007 is big and welcoming news,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at National Association of Realtors. “The choke point of the housing market growth potential has been the lack of supply. The consequent tight inventory conditions has been pushing up home values to rise at a faster rate than income growth over the past four years. This, in turn, has hurt affordability and contributed to the homeownership rate dipping to a 50-year low.”

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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