Total housing starts declined a disappointing 9.4% m/m in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.256 million (Briefing.com consensus 1.306 million).
Building permits declined 2.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.387 million (Briefing.com consensus 1.350 million).
By region, single-family starts were down 1.6% in the Northeast, down 8.3% in the Midwest, up 7.1% in the South (the largest region), and down 8.7% in the West.
By region, single-family permits were down 14.5% in the Northeast, up 13.6% in the Midwest, up 1.4% in the South, and down 3.3% in the West.
The number of units under construction at the end of the period stood at 1.157 million. That left the third quarter average 1.6% above the second quarter average, which will be a positive input for Q3 GDP forecasts.The key takeaway from the Housing Starts and Building Permits report is that the month-over-month weakness was a function of downturns for multi-unit dwellings. Single-family starts were up 0.3% to 918,000 while single-family permits were up 0.8% to 882,000.