October Starts Up But Single-Family Stays on Downward Slope
A rebound in the volatile multifamily market lifted total housing starts 3.0% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.229 million units even as the downswing in the single-family housing market continued, according to figures released by the Commerce Department on Nov. 20. Total starts were down 16.4% from a year earlier.
Single-family housing starts dropped 7.3% for the month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 884,000 units, their lowest monthly production rate since October 1991 and 25.1% below October 2006.
"Builders continue to do what they absolutely have to do in this market downturn. They are repositioning themselves for the market's eventual recovery by cutting back on production and working down their inventories," said NAHB President Brian Catalde.
"The large October bounce-back in multifamily starts reflected typical month-to-month volatility, while the pattern of multifamily permits shows that this sector is gradually losing momentum," said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "The large declines in single-family starts and permits clearly show that this component of the housing market still is weakening seriously."
Multifamily housing starts rose 44.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 345,000 units in October after dropping 35.9% to a 239,000-unit pace the month before. The pace of multifamily construction was 19.4% above its year-earlier pace.
In another indication that builders are repositioning themselves, total building permits were down 6.6% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.178 million units, leaving total permits down 24.5% from a year earlier.
Single-family permit issuance was down 8.0% to a pace of 807,000 units for the month, the slowest since November 1991 and 31.0% below October 2006.
Multifamily permits declined 3.4% to 371,000 units for the month, setting a pace 4.9% below the rate of a year earlier.
Regionally, starts of new homes and apartments climbed 21.1% in the economically battered Midwest, 8.5% in the Northeast and 5.8% in the West. Starts receded 4.6% in the South.
Webcast of NAHB Fall Construction Forecast Available Till Feb. 5
The webcast of the NAHB Fall Construction Forecast Conference held in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 24. is available for purchase through Feb. 5.
The conference webcast includes panels of nationally recognized experts discussing economic trends, government policies, developments in the housing industry and the results from NAHB's recent surveys.
Purchasers will receive unlimited access to the webcast archive though Feb. 5, as well as electronic copies of the conference handouts and presentation material. Purchasers can watch at their own pace, rewind, fast forward and review important sections.
To Purchase the Webcast
To purchase the webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfcwebcast.
For more information, contact Kate Carrigan at NAHB, or call her at 800-369-5242 x8244.
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Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown
What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.
To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.
To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.
For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.