National Association of Home Builders chief economist David Crowe takes a look at the latest housing starts and permits data from the Census Bureau, and doesn't fret about what he's seeing.
First of all, he notes that permits to build new homes increased 4.1% in October to a level of 1.15 million per year. Both single-family and multifamily levels increased by 2.4% and 6.8% respectively. Permits can act as a more solid pre-cursor to housing construction activity than starts. Crowe's view remains positive:
The October report from Census and HUD provide nothing to change NAHB’s forecast for continued modest growth in 2015 and some slight acceleration in single-family construction in 2016 as the economy grows, jobs are added and mortgage rates remain relatively low.