Single-family housing starts were essentially flat on a month-over-month basis in October, tracking at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 970,000. The September revised figure was 968,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Urban Development.
“The holdup of housing starts activity was a bit surprising given October was a pretty clear inflection point in the new-home market,” says Ali Wolf, chief economist at Zonda. “However, the current level captures some of the building confidence to try to backfill the dearth of supply, especially given better access to land and lots.”
Privately owned housing starts in October increased 1.9% month over month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,372,000. The estimate is 4.2% below the October 2022 rate of 1,432,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 382,000.
“Builders began construction on 13.1% more houses in October than 12 months before. Meanwhile, they started building 31.8% fewer apartment units than a year before,” said Holden Lewis, a home expert with NerdWallet. “A similar split can be found in construction permits issued in October. The upshot is that a surge of single-family houses will be available for sale in 2024, which could end up making houses more affordable.”
Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits increased 1.1% month over month but fell 4.4% year over year to a rate of 1,487,000. Single-family permits in October inched up 0.5% from September to a rate of 968,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 469,000 in October.
Privately owned completions in October increased 4.6% month over month to 1,410,000. The estimated rate is 4.6% below the October 2022 rate of 1,348,000. Single-family completions decreased 0.9% to 993,000 in October, while the rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 408,000.