U.S. housing construction plunged in October to its lowest level in more than six years, according to new data released from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.
The month’s significant decline in construction was driven by a steep drop in multi-family starts, a trend that was expected after an unusually high September. Multi-family production dropped 25.1 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 338,000 units while single-family production edged down 2.4 percent to 722,000 units.
“This month’s decline can be attributed to a volatile multi-family sector, as well as the storms and flooding affecting single-family production in the South,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, with construction permits ticking upward, we expect to see the housing market continue to grow at a modest pace.”
Combined single- and multi-family starts rose in the Northeast and Midwest, with respective gains of 10.2 and 15 per cent. Meanwhile the South fell 18.6 per cent and the West dropped 16.2 per cent.
In a positive sign of things to come, overall permit issuance rose 4.1 per cent to 1.15 million units in October. Multi-family permits rose 6.8 per-cent to a rate of 439,000 while single-family permits increased 2.4 per-cent to 711,000.
Regionally, the Northeast, Midwest and South posted respective permit gains of 5.9 per cent, 2.4 per cent and 7.5 per cent. The West fell 2.6 per cent.