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Housing Starts Surge

Housing starts surged in October 2017, according to new data released by The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD. The new monthly residential construction activity report revealed the number of privately owned housing starts for October to be at  a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,290,000, up 13.7 percent over the revised September estimate of 1,135,000. That still leaves October 2017 2.9 percent behind the numbers for a year ago (1,328,000 in October 2016). Single-family housing starts also increased, jumping from 833,000 to 877,000 month-over-month, a 5.3 percent increase.

In a statement, First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming broke down the numbers:

Today’s Census Bureau report for October is an indication of strength for the housing market. The number of permits issued, a leading indicator of housing starts, increased by 0.9 percent and housing starts decreased -2.9 percent, respectively, compared to a year ago. In addition to the increase in permit issuance, the stock of housing units authorized to be built increased by 14.3 percent, and the number of housing units under construction also increased by 4.1 percent. The number of completed homes, which is additional new supply added to the housing stock, also increased by 15.5 percent compared to a year ago.

The Northeast in particular is seeing a boom in housing starts. They increased a whopping 42.2 percent in the Northeast, as compared to 18.4 percent in the Midwest and 17.2 percent in the South. Only the West saw a drop in starts for October, falling by 3.7 percent. “By the looks of this month’s numbers, the South, which accounts for almost half of the nation’s housing starts, could be seeing a rebound from effects of the hurricanes,” Fleming said.

The Northeast has also seen a spike in housing permits issued this year, up 8.6 percent and leading the pack ahead of the West (up 4.3 percent). Both the Midwest and the South saw fewer permits issued in 2017 (-5.0 percent and -0.5 percent, respectively).

Housing completion numbers also trended positive in October, with privately owned housing completions increasing by 12.6 percent over September and 15.5 percent over the October 2016 numbers. Single-family completions were up 2.6 percent over September.

Fleming said, “The fact that the number of completions increased by more than 15 percent compared to a year ago is good news because the additional housing units are needed to help alleviate the inventory shortage in the current housing market.”

You can see the full Census Bureau/HUD report by clicking here.

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton has been a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, contributing to publications such as The Daily Dot, CinemaBlend, ScreenRant, and Creative Screenwriting Magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington. He lives in Texas with three children, four dogs, and his wife.

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