Housing Starts Spike to Highest Levels Since 2008

Single-family housing starts spiked 11% in September on a sequential basis and construction on multifamily units jumped 25% to some of the best readings seen since the summer of 2008.

The Census Bureau reported Wednesday morning that single-family starts rose to a 603,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in September from 543,000 in August. The 603,000 figure is the highest measurement since August 2008.

Surveys have shown rising confidence about single-family builders over the past six months, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

While contractors remain concerned about tight credit conditions for mortgage borrowers, they must have put those concerns aside in August. “Many builders are reporting increases in the number of serious buyers visiting their sales offices,” said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg. 

Meanwhile, multifamily builders broke ground at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 260,000 units in September, the highest level since September 2008.  

Despite the good news, Raymond James on Wednesday downgraded the sector based on valuations.