Housing starts gain 3.6 percent in October

November 20, 2012 01:00PM

Nationwide housing starts jumped 3.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 894,000 units, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data released today. October’s numbers represent the fastest pace of new-home construction since July 2008, thanks to increases in the multi-family sector.

The single-family housing sector remained unchanged on a month-to-month basis at 594,000 units, but construction of multi-family units posted an 11.9 percent monthly jump to 300,000. However, permits issued fell 2.7 percent to 866,000 units last month, primarily because permits in the multifamily sector saw a 10.6 percent decline from a September high of 304,000. Single-family permits posted a 2.2 percent month-over-month gain to 562,000 units.

“Builders are acting to meet rising demand while continuing to exercise caution by pulling a modest increase in the number of single-family permits as the market continues to gradually gain its footing,” said National Association of Home Builders Chairman Barry Rutenberg in a release.

As The Real Deal reported yesterday, builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes posted a gain this month to 46 — the U.S. housing market index’s highest point reached in over six years.

Despite the improvements that show housing is recovering at a slow but steady space, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, “we still have a long way to go to get back to normal production as inaccurate appraisals, tight lending conditions for home buyers and policy uncertainties continue to impede the recovery.”– Zachary Kussin