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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Weaken Overall; Building Permits Reach Six-Year High
by Tom Moeller  November 19, 2014

Housing starts during October fell 2.8% (+7.7% y/y) to 1.009 million (AR) from 1.038 million in September, revised from 1.017 million. The latest level fell short of expectations for 1.028 million starts in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Starts in the multi-family sector fell 15.4% (-6.8% y/y) to 313,000 and reversed September's gain. Starts of single-family homes rose, however, by 4.2% (16.3% y/y) to the highest level since last November.

Permits to build new homes moved 4.8% higher (2.7% y/y) and the increase brought them to the highest level since June 2008. The gain reflected a 1.4% rise (3.1% y/y) in single-family permits and a 10.0% improvement (2.1% y/y) in permits to build multi-family homes.

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

The Risks to the Inflation Outlook from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total 1,009 1,038 963 7.7 930 784 612
 Single-Family 696 668 641 16.3 621 537 434
 Multi-Family 313 370 322 -6.8 309 247 178
Starts By Region
 Northeast 97 116 109 -21.1 96 80 68
 Midwest 145 178 177 -15.8 149 128 103
 South 546 496 475 33.3 467 400 309
 West 221 248 202 -1.1 217 175 132
Building Permits 1,080 1,031 1,003 2.7 990 829 624
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