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Housing Starts, Building Permits Easily Beat Forecasts in October

New Residential Construction Stronger than Expected in October

Housing starts and building permits came in much stronger than forecasts expected in October, the U.S. Census Bureau reported on new residential construction.

Housing Starts

Privately‐owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,314,000, or 3.8% (±8.7%) higher than the revised September estimate of 1,266,000. It’s 8.5% (±10.8%) higher than the October 2018 rate of 1,211,000.

Single‐family housing starts in October were at a rate of 936,000, or 2.0% (±6.3%) higher than the revised September figure of 918,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 362,000.

Forecasts ranged from 1,262,000 to 1,360,000. The consensus was 1,266,000.

Building Permits

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,461,000. This is 5.0% (±1.7%) higher than the revised September rate of 1,391,000 and is 14.1% (±2.1%) higher than the October 2018 rate of 1,281,000.

Single‐family authorizations in October were at a rate of 909,000, a gain of 3.2% (±1.0%) from the revised September figure of 881,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 505,000 in October.

Forecasts ranged from 1,336,000 to 1,400,000. The consensus was 1,391,000.

Housing Completions

Privately‐owned housing completions in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,256,000. This is an increase of 10.3% (±11.7%) from the revised September estimate of 1,139,000 and is 12.4% (±11.7%) above the October 2018 rate of 1,117,000.

Single‐family housing completions in October were at a rate of 897,000, an increase of 4.5% (±10.3%) from the revised September rate of 858,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 354,000.

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