Today's release of Housing Starts and Building Permits for the month of September exceeded forecasts by a wide margin as both indicators rose to their highest levels since July 2008. At current levels, Housing Starts have risen 82% from their recession lows, while Building Permits have increased by 74%. Even after these big increases, however, both are still well below their pre-recession levels. More noteworthy is the fact that Housing Starts are still 40% below the historical average going back to 1959, when the size of the US population was less than two-thirds of what it is now!
Throughout the recovery, one of the criticisms of the increase in Housing Starts was the fact that much of the growth was due to starts of multi-unit dwellings. This month, however, the bulk of the increase came from starts of single family units. While total starts increased by 34.7% year/year, starts of single family units actually rose by 42.8%, which was more than double the rate of growth in multi-family units. Continue reading.
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