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--September Building Permits Down 0.6% To 1.241m SAAR, Low Since May'17
--Starts, Completions Decline Sharply In South Region
By Kevin Kastner
WASHINGTON (MNI) - The pace of housing starts fell by 5.3% to a
1.201 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in September, below
expectations for a 1.220 million rate and showing a hurricane impact on
the South regions, data reported by the Commerce Department Wednesday
Effects from Hurricane Florence could be seen in a 13.7% decline in
starts in the South, and further effects are likely from Hurricane
Michael with the October data, but there should be a boost later in the
year as rebuilding efforts begin.
Housing starts fell by 14.0% in the Midwest to join the decline in
the South, but starts rose by 29.0% in the Northest to more than recover
the loss in August. Sales were also up 6.6% in the West.
Housing starts of single-family homes fell by 0.9% in September
after a 2.1% increase in the previous month, while multi-family starts
fell by 15.2% in September, based on an MNI calculation. This followed a
20.4% jump in the previous month.
--BUILDING PERMITS LOWEST SINCE MAY 2017
Building permits fell by 0.6% in the month to a 1.241 million rate
after falling to 1.249 million in August, hitting its lowest point since
1.205 million in May 2017.
This decline was driven by a drop in multi-family permits, offset
by a gain in single-family permits. Homes permitted but not started fell
by 0.6% in September, also driven by multi-family homes.
The housing starts average pace for the third quarter was 1.218
million, down from the 1.261 million second quarter average after all
revisions were included. The third quarter permits pace, at 1.264
million, was down from the 1.319 million second quarter average.
Homes under construction were up 0.3%, but completions were down
4.1% to their slowest pace since November, suggesting a slowdown in new
home supply in the near term.
** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **