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Western States Drive Surge in Building Permits

October was a mixed month for new residential construction data.  More permits were issued than in September but housing starts and completions were both down.  September numbers for permits and housing starts were upgraded slightly from original estimates while the completions number was revised down.

Permits for construction of privately owned housing units were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.080,000.  This was an increase of 4.8 percent from the revised (from 1,018,000) September estimate of 1,031,000 permits and 1.2 percent higher than the October 2013 rate of 1,067,000.

Single family construction permits were issued at a rate of 640,000, up 1.4 percent from the September estimate of 631,000 (originally 624,000) and 2.4 percent higher than in October 2014.  Permits for units in building with five or more rose 8 percent from a September rate of 376,000 to 406,000.

Seasonally adjusted construction starts were at an annual rate of 1,009,000 units.  This was a decrease of 2.8 percent from the September rate of 1,038,000 but 7.8 percent higher than the October 2013 annual rate of 936,000.  September's number was revised up slightly from 1,017,000. 

Single family housing starts were at a rate of 696,000 compared to 668,000 in September, a gain of 4.2 percent and 15.4 percent higher than in October 2013.  Construction was begun on multifamily units at a rate of 300,000, a 15.5 percent decrease from a rate of 355,000 starts in September.

Housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 881,000, an 8.8 percent drop from September's revised estimate of 966,000 but 8.1 percent higher than a year earlier.  September was revised from an original estimate of 999,000.

Single-family units were completed at an annual rate of 585,000 units, off the September pace by 7.4 percent and down 3.1 percent from a year earlier.  Multi-unit construction also decreased from the previous month by 11.6 percent to 289,000 units.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis there were 95,000 construction permits issued in October compared to 90,700 in September.  Housing starts fell from 95,500 to 84,400 and completions were down 10,200 units to 80,100.

 

 

Permits in the Northeast region were down 21.5 percent on an annual basis from September and 8.7 percent from a year earlier.  Housing starts were decreased 16.4 percent and 22.4 percent respectively compared to the two periods.  Construction was completed on 27.1 percent fewer units than the previous month but the figure was 44.8 percent higher than a year earlier.

In the Midwest permits fell 11.4 percent from the previous month and were 4.9 percent lower than in October 2013.  Housing starts were 18.5 percent below what they were in September and 15.7 percent lower than a year earlier.  Completions were down 14.3 percent from September but were up 5.9 percent on an annual basis.

The South saw an increase in permits of 8.8 percent compared to September but permitting was 2.3 percent lower year-over-year.  Construction starts rose 10.1 percent from September to October and the October rate was 30.9 percent above that the previous October.   Construction completions were off 15.4 percent from the September pace and down 6.4 percent from a year earlier.

Permits were issued in the West at a rate 21.6 percent higher than in September and 17.6 percent above the pace a year earlier.  Construction starts were down 10.9 percent month-over-month and 0.5 percent year-over-year.  Completions rose by 26.8 percent and 31.8 percent from the two earlier periods.

At the end of October there were an estimated 116,600 permits for residential construction that had been issued but remained unused, fairly equally divided between single family and multi-unit permits.   There were an estimated 802,000 units under construction, 360,000 single family units and 431,000 units in multi-unit buildings.

SOURCE: www.mortgagenewsdaily.com

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