Single Family Starts Almost Flat, But Up 35% from a Year Ago

Single-family housing starts rose a fraction in October after spiking almost 11% in September while multifamily construction jumped 10% on a sequential basis.   

The Census Bureau reported Tuesday morning that single-family starts rose to a 594,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in October compared to 595,000 units in September.  The September rate was revised downward by 9,000 units.

Overall, single-family construction is up a mouth watering 35% from a year ago. 

A National Association of Home Builders/Wells survey of homebuilders shot up 5 points to a reading of 46 in October -- the highest level of builder confidence since 2006.

“Builders are reporting increasing demand for new homes as inventories of foreclosed and distressed properties begin to shrink in markets across the country,” said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “In view of the tightening supply and other improving conditions, many potential buyers who were on the fence are now motivated to move forward with a purchase in order to take advantage of today’s favorable prices and interest rates.” 

Meanwhile, construction of multifamily units rose to a 285,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in October from a 258,000 rate in September.

The October rate is the highest since July 2008.  Overall, multifamily construction is up 63% from a year ago.