Housing Starts Down Sharply, Permits Flat in October Census Data

by devteam November 17th, 2010 | Share

The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development releasedrnstatistics Wednesday on New Residential Construction for October 2010, covering building permits,rnhousing starts, and housing completions. </p

On a seasonally adjusted annual basis, 550,000 privately-owned housing unitsrnwere authorized by permit during October. rnThis is a mere 0.5 percent increased from the September annual figure ofrn547,000 but is 4.5 percent lower than in October 2009.  Single-family homes represented 406,000 ofrnthe permits, an increase of 1.0 percent from September while 23,000 permitsrnwere issued for units within buildings containing two to four units and 121,000rnpermits for units within buildings containing five or more units.  </p

In October there were 79,500 outstanding permits for which construction hadrnnot yet started.  This was a decrease ofrn1,900 units or 2.3 percent from September.</p

Housing Starts data estimates how much new residential real estaternconstruction was initiated during the previous month, not including remodelingrnor renovation.  Estimated on a seasonallyrnadjusted annual basis, new construction began on 519,000 privately-owned homesrnin September.  This was a drop of 11.7rnpercent from the revised September estimate of 588,000 and is 1.9 percent lowerrnthan figures for October 2009.  Singlernfamily housing starts were at a rate of 436,000, 1.1 percent below the revisedrnSeptember figure of 441,000.  Starts forrnunits in buildings with five or more units were at the rate of 74,000.  There is not sufficient data to reliablyrnreport on starts for two- to four-family buildings</p

Homes were completed in October at an annual rate of 613,000, down 3.2rnpercent from the revised September estimate of 633,000 and 18.4 percent lowerrnthan the 751,000 in October 2009.  Singlernfamily homes account for 501,000 of the completions, up 2.7 percentrnmonth-over-month and completion of units in buildings with five or more unitsrnwas at the rate of 107,000.</p

On a regional basis permitting was up 14.3 percent in the Midwest and downrn3.4 percent in the South.  Other changesrnwere within 3 percentage points of the previous month.  The Northeast saw an increase of 12.9 percentrnin housing starts while the South saw the rate of starts drop by a whoppingrn30.5 percent.  The South also saw a 16.1rnpercent drop in completions while in the Midwest completions increased by 24.2rnpercent.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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