They don’t call it Fall for nothing. As summer ended, US homebuilding starts fell 9.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.256 million units in September 2019 lead by a big decline in the multi-family housing, the Commerce Department said today. One piece of good news was the data for August 2019 was revised higher to 1.386 million units, which would be the highest level of starts since the financial crisis. Economists, wrong as usually were expecting a 3.2% decline to 1.320 million unit annualized. US Housing starts rose 1.6% year over year as well. Starts decreased across all four national regions, led by a 34.3% slump in the Northeast.
Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the biggest share of the housing market, rose 0.3% to a rate of 918,000 units in September, the highest level since January 2019. This is increase is a sign that more supply should be coming online 2020 to help improve a tight inventory conditions. Single-family housing starts fell in the Northeast, our home region the West, and Midwest, but rose in the South. Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment tumbled 28.2% to a rate of 338,000 units in September. These numbers have been all over the place so it is hard to read into the declines for multi-family.
Building Permits September 2019 Update
Building permits also fell as well. Building permits fell by 2.7%, which was better than what Economists were forecasting, a 5.3% decline. Permits to build single-family homes rose 0.8% to a rate of 882,000 units last month, the highest level since February 2018. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes dropped 8.2% to a rate of 505,000 units last month.