Single-family Starts at Highest Pace Since Spring of 2007
November 18, 2020
Led by solid gains in single-family production, overall housing starts increased 4.9 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million units, according to a report from according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
The October reading of 1.53 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts increased 6.4 percent to a 1.18 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, and are up 8.6 percent year-to-date. The pace of single-family starts was the best since the spring of 2007. The multifamily sector remained unchanged from the previous month at a 351,000 pace.
"As seen in the NAHB/Wells Fargo builder confidence index, single-family starts continue to grow off a historic rebound that began in April," says Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. "Current demand is being supported by historically low interest rates and home buyer preferences shifting to the suburbs and exurbs."
"Single-family permits were approximately flat in October, which suggests housing starts will level off in the months ahead, although at post-Great Recession highs," says Robert Dietz, NAHB chief economist. "Builders cite a lack of lots and decreased availability of building materials as headwinds that will limit production."
Overall permits came in at a 1.55 million unit annualized rate in October, remaining unchanged from the previous month. Single-family permits increased 0.6 percent to a 1.12 million unit rate. Multifamily permits decreased 1.6 percent to a 425,000 pace.