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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Rebound Led by Multi-Family
by Tom Moeller  October 17, 2014

Housing starts during September recovered 6.3% to 1.017 million (AR, 17.8% y/y) after a 12.8% decline to 957,000 during August, revised from 956,000. The latest level roughly matched expectations for 1.010 million starts in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Strength last month was logged in the multi-family sector where starts recovered 16.7% to 371,000 (32.0% y/y). That followed a 28.7% July decline. Starts of single-family homes improved 1.1% (11.0% y/y) to 646,000 after a 2.0% fall.

Building permits gained 1.5% (2.5% y/y) to 1.018 million after a 5.1% decline to 1.003 million. Permits to build multi-family homes improved 4.8% (4.8% y/y) to 394,000 after an 11.7% fall. Single-family permits slipped 0.5% (+1.1% y/y) to 624,000. That was the third straight month of modest decline.

By region, starts in the West increased 13.9% (25.0% y/y) while starts in the Northeast rose 5.3% (23.7% y/y). Housing starts in the South improved 4.2% (16.9% y/y) and starts in the Midwest increased 3.5% (8.6% y/y).

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

Perspectives on Inequality and Opportunity from the Survey of Consumer Finances is the title of today's speech by Fed Chair Janet L. Yeller and it is available here.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total 1,017 957 1,098 17.8 930 784 612
 Single-Family 646 639 652 11.0 621 537 434
 Multi-Family 371 318 446 32.0 309 247 178
Starts By Region
 Northeast 120 114 140 23.7 96 80 68
 Midwest 176 170 163 8.6 149 128 103
 South 491 471 528 16.9 467 400 309
 West 230 202 267 25.0 217 175 132
Building Permits 1,018 1,003 1,057 2.5 990 829 624
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