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October Housing Starts: Robust Rebound

  • October housing starts rose 3.8% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.31 million units. That's 8.5% above October 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single‐family housing starts in October climbed 2% month-over-month.  
  • Building permits in October grew 5% from the revised September figure to 1.46 million (SAAR) units. That's up 14.1% from October 2018 and the strongest reading since May 2007.
  • Housing completions in October increased 10.3% from September to 1.26 million units (SAAR). That's up 12.4% from a year earlier.

Today's release was more evidence of how resilient the home construction industry is in the face of persistent constraints. October's housing starts were a robust rebound from last month and a sign that builders are optimistic about the direction of the housing market. Low mortgage rates have buoyed demand for homes, helping drive strong builder confidence despite a shortage of buildable lots and available labor. Builders continue to add homes at a healthy rate, doing what they can to address an inventory shortage that is holding back the housing market. Permits for future building were also above expectations, another indication that new home building has plenty of legs as we face into winter.

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