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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Surge To Highest Level Since 2008
by Tom Moeller  October 17, 2012

Last month builders began work on more new homes than in any month in four years. Total housing starts jumped 15.0% (34.8% y/y) to 872,000 (AR) from 758,000 during August, revised up from 750,000. Expectations had been for 770,000 starts for September. Higher starts of multi-family homes led the increase with a one-quarter jump (19.6% y/y) to 269,000. Single-family starts followed with an 11.0% gain (42.9% y/y) to 603,000.

By region, starts in the West led the increase with a 20.1% rise (25.3% y/y) followed by a 19.9% gain (37.1% y/y) in the South. Starts in the Midwest rose 6.7% (47.4% y/y) but in the Northeast housing starts were off 5.1% (+27.1% y/y) and down for the second straight month. 

Building permits increased 11.6% (45.1% y/y) to 894,000. Permits for multi-family homes surged 20.3% (85.6% y/y) while single-family permits increased 6.7% m/m (27.3% y/y).

The housing starts figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

 

Housing Starts (000s,SAAR) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Total 872 758 728 34.8 612 586 554
 Single-Family 603 543 506 42.9 434 471 442
 Multi-Family 269 215 222 19.6 178 114 112
Starts By Region
 Northeast 75 79 86 35.7 68 72 61
 Midwest 143 134 111 47.4 103 97 95
 South 451 376 348 37.1 309 296 281
 West 203 169 183 25.3 131 120 117
Building Permits 894 801 811 45.1 624 604 582
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