Housing Permits Rise in October, Suggesting Support for Home Demand

Total housing starts fell to a 1.520 million annual rate in October from a 1.530 million pace in September, a 0.7 percent decrease. From a year ago, total starts are up just 0.4 percent. However, total housing permits rose in October, posting a 4.0 percent gain to 1.650 million in October from 1.586 million in September (see first chart). Total permits are up 3.4 percent from the October 2020 level.

Starts in the dominant single-family segment posted a rate of 1.039 million in October versus 1.081 million in September, a drop of 3.9 percent, and are down 10.6 percent from a year ago. However, single-family permits experienced a 2.7 percent rise to 1.069 million versus 1.041 million in September. Single-family starts have been trending lower from a peak around the start of the year but the recent stabilization for permits suggests that housing demand may be getting some renewed support (see first chart).

Starts of multifamily structures with five or more units increased 6.8 percent to 470,000 and are up a robust 39.5 percent over the past year while starts for the two- to four-family-unit segment were up 22.2 percent at an 11,000-unit pace.  Combined, multifamily starts were 7.1 percent to 481,000 in October and show a gain of 36.6 percent from a year ago.

Multifamily permits for the 5-or-more group rose 6.5 percent to 528,000 while permits for the two-to-four-unit category jumped 8.2 percent to 53,000. Combined, multifamily permits were 581,000, up 6.6 percent for the month (see first chart) and 28.0 percent from a year ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *