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For the third time this year, nationwide housing starts surpassed the million-mark, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau. Total housing production in September rose 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million units.
"These numbers show starts returning to levels we saw earlier this summer, where they hovered around one million units," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. "We are hopeful this pattern of modest growth will continue as we close out the year."
Single-family housing starts were up 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units in August, while multifamily production climbed 16.7 percent to 371,000 units. Combined housing starts increased in all regions of the country. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respective gains of 5.3 percent, 3.5 percent, 4.2 percent and 13.9 percent.
"September's uptick reveals that last month's dip in production was more of an anomaly than a market reversal," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "I expect we will see a continued recovery as job creation grows and consumers gain more confidence in the housing market."
Issuance of building permits registered a 1.5 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.018 million units in September. Multifamily permits rose 4.8 percent to 394,000 units while single-family permits decreased 0.5 percent to 624,000 units.
Regionally, the Northeast, Midwest and West registered overall permit increases of 12.3 percent, 8.2 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. The South posted a 4.7 percent loss.
“September’s housing starts and permits bounced back after a disappointing report last month," said Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. "This report negates some of last month’s naysayers who were caught up in the volatility of the multi-family sector. Although consumers are receiving mixed signals on the health of the housing market, September housing starts show that the market is still on the incline.”