Housing starts slip in September

by Francis Monfort20 Oct 2017
Housing starts posted a month-over-month decline in September, a factor that may influence a shift in future job creation.

Privately owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,127,000, according to new residential construction statistics released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The September figure is 4.7% below the revised August estimate of 1,183,000 but is 6.1% above the September 2016 rate of 1,062,000. Starts for single-family housing were at a rate of 829,000, 4.6% below the revised August figure of 869,000. Starts for units in buildings with five units or more was 286,000 in September.

Building permits for privately owned housing units also decreased from August. September recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000 permits, 4.5% below the revised August rate of 1,272,000 and 4.3% below the September 2016 rate of 1,270,000. Authorizations for single-family housing were at a rate of 819,000, 2.4% above the revised August figure of 800,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 360,000.

Meanwhile, privately-owned housing completions improved during the month with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,109,000. This is 1.1% above the revised August estimate of 1,097,000 and is 10.3% above the September 2016 rate of 1,005,000. Single-family housing completions were at a rate of 781,000, 4.6% above the revised August rate of 747,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 322,000.

In response to the release, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said the latest figures may indicate a potential change in national job creation.

“The one-month fall in new home construction, especially in the South region in light of Hurricane recovery, is understandable,” Yun said. “What is frustrating and hard to comprehend is the drop in total permits in the West region. Home prices have been rising too fast in the West, and several metro areas are in dire need of new home construction. If housing shortages continue, along with the commensurate affordability challenges, then expect new job creation to begin shifting away from the West to other parts of the country.”


Related stories:
Residential housing completions tumble in August
New residential construction drops in July
 

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