Housing starts for the month of September rose 6.5% to an eight-year high of 1.206 million units on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. The increase was all in the multifamily sector, rising 18.3% to 466,000. Single-family starts were virtually unchanged at 740,000. This is the first month total starts passed the 1.2 million mark since October 2007.
The trends in both are more apparent on a quarterly or year-to-date basis that smooths some of the monthly irregularities inevitable in sample data. Single-family starts averaged 746,000 for the third quarter, up 5.7% from the second quarter. Multifamily starts averaged 418,000 for the third quarter, down 7.3% from the second quarter.
On a year-to-date basis, both increased: single-family starts are up 11% from the same period in 2014 and multifamily starts are up 13.8%. These averages provide a clearer picture of the steady increase in housing construction that we have been experiencing for several years.
Read the full post at the NAHB website.