US Housing Starts Spike 4.9%, Building Permits at a 13.5-yr Highs

#housing #starts #permits #virus #chaos

The stock of housing under construction increased 1.2% to a rate of 1.224-M units, the highest since December 2006″ — Paul Ebeling  

US homebuilding increased more than expected in October as the housing market continues to be driven by record low mortgage rates, and is expected to continue, despite the rise in COVID cases.

The report from the US Commerce Department Wednesday also showed building permits at a 13,5-yr high.

The Big Q: How long the recovery in housing can continue as the shocking number of new virus cases is hobbling commerce in many parts of the country and leading to new restrictions and lockdowns.

The Big A: We have to wait to see.

Housing starts rose 4.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.530-M units last month. That lifted homebuilding closer to its pace of 1.567-M units pre-virus chaos in February.

Economists polled forecast starts would rise to a rate of 1.460-M units in October.

Permits for future homebuilding were running at a rate of 1.545-M units in October, the highest since March 2007.

Homebuilding surged 14.2% on a Y-Y basis.

Single-family homebuilding, the largest share of the housing market, raced 6.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.179-M units last month, the highest mark since April 2007.

Single-family starts have increased for 6 months running.

This segment of the market is being driven by the virus chaos, which has seen at least 21% of the labor force working from home. That has led to a migration from city centers to suburbs and other low-density areas as Americans seek out spacious accommodation for home offices and schools.

Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!