Recent Updates

  • UK: Lloyds TSB Business Barometer (Nov)
  • China: Steel PMI, Manufacturing PMI, Nonmanufacturing PMI (Nov)
  • New Zealand: ANZ Business Outlook Survey (Nov)
  • Australia: Assets & Liabilities of ADIS (Oct), External Debt, International Investment Position, BOP (Q3)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Weaken in October
by Tom Moeller  November 17, 2021

• Single-family starts decline but multi-family improves.

• Regional changes are mixed.

• Building permits recover.

Housing starts eased 0.7% (+0.4% y/y) during October to 1.520 million (SAAR) from 1.530 in September, revised from 1.555 million. Starts have declined 11.9% from a high of 1.725 million in March. An October level of 1.580 million starts was expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The slip in starts overall in October was due to a 3.9% drop (-10.6% y/y) in single-family starts to 1.039 million. It was the fourth consecutive monthly decline and left single-family starts 21.0% below the December 2020 peak. Starts of multi-family homes improved 7.1% (36.6% y/y) to 481,000. Multi-family starts have risen 39.0% so far this year.

Building permits increased 4.0% (3.4% y/y) to 1.650 million from 1.586 million in September, revised from 1.589 million. Permits to build single-family homes gained 2.7% (-6.3% y/y) to 1.069 million following five declines in the prior six months. Permits to build multi-family homes rose 6.6% (28.0% y/y) in October to 581,000 following an 18.8% decline during September.

By region, housing starts fell 0.8% (+45.2% y/y) in the Northeast to 122,000 following a 25.9% September drop. Starts in the South were down 1.0% (-5.7% y/y) to 792,000 after falling 9.5% in September. Starts in the West fell 3.3% (-0.5% y/y) to 380,000 after a 20.2% increase in September. Partially offsetting these declines was a 5.6% (8.7% y/y) rise in starts in the Midwest to 226,000 following a 9.2% increase.

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

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Total 1,520 1,530 1,573 0.4 1,397 1,292 1,247
  Single-Family 1,039 1,081 1,088 -10.6 1,004 889 871
  Multi-Family 481 449 485 36.6 393 403 376
Starts By Region
  Northeast 122 123 166 45.2 113 115 111
  Midwest 226 214 196 8.7 193 169 170
  South 792 800 884 -5.7 743 687 630
  West 380 393 327 -0.5 347 321 336
Building Permits 1,650 1,586 1,721 3.4 1,479 1,385 1,329
close
large image