by Bill McBride on 10/17/2012
From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions
Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000. This is 15.0 percent above the revised August estimate of 758,000 and is 34.8 percent above the September 2011 rate of 647,000.
Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 603,000; this is 11.0 percent above the revised August figure of 543,000.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000. This is 11.6 percent above the revised August rate of 801,000 and is 45.1 percent above the September 2011 estimate of 616,000.
Single-family authorizations in September were at a rate of 545,000; this is 6.7 percent above the revised August figure of 511,000.
The first graph shows single and multi-family housing starts for the last several years. Starts are slowing increasing.
Total housing starts were at 872 thousand (SAAR) in September, up 15.0% from the revised August rate of 758 thousand (SAAR). Note that August was revised up from 750 thousand.
Single-family starts increased 11.0 to 603 thousand in September.
The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.
Total starts are up about 80% from the bottom start rate, and single family starts are up 70% from the low.
This was way above expectations of 765 thousand starts in September. This was partially because of the volatile multi-family sector, but single family starts were up sharply too – and above 600 thousand SAAR for the first time since 2008. Right now starts are on pace to be up about 25% from 2011.