Housing Starts: Rebound as Volatile Multi-family Sector Bounces Back

November 17, 2016
Bottom Line: Housing starts rebounded sharply in October as the sharp decline in multi-family starts seen in September reversed back to trend. Single-family starts remain robust, accelerating another 10% from September to a post-crisis record high rate of 869k annualized units. The Western and Midwestern regions led the acceleration in starts as both of those regions hit new 8-year highs, while housing starts in the South and Northeast sit just below the post-crisis highs. Single-family permits rose modestly while multi-family permits fell modestly. Overall, the progress in the housing market has been gradually improving over the past 12 months as starts are rising moderately. Housing Starts ROSE by 25.5% in October to 1323k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 1156k. Meanwhile, the prior month was revised slightly higher from 1,047k to 1,054k. Housing starts have been slowly climbing, albeit amid substantial volatility, since reaching their cyclical nadir in April 2009 and are now 23.3% ABOVE their year ago level. However, they are still a sharp 41.8% BELOW their January 2006 peak. Single Family Housing Starts ROSE by 10.7% to 869k. Single family housing starts are 21.7% ABOVE their year ago level but still 52.3% BELOW their January 2006 peak. Multifamily Housing Starts ROSE by 68.8% to 454k. Multifamily starts are now 26.5% ABOVE their year ago level.