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October Housing Stats Show Slight Gains

Both of the key metrics for residential construction, housing permits, and housing starts, beat analysts’ expectations in October. The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said permits rose 1.1 percent compared to September while housing starts increased by 1.5 percent. Permits were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.487 million units compared to 1.471 million units in September. The September estimate was only a slight revision from the 1.473 million originally reported. Analysts polled by Econoday had estimated that permits would come in at 1.463 million units. [housingpermitschart] The permits issued in October 2023 were 4.4 percent fewer than the 1.555 million permits authorized in October 2022. The annual rate of permitting for single-family houses was 968,000 units, 0.5 percent higher than the 963,000 units in September and an improvement of 13.9 percent year-over-year.  Multifamily permits increased by 2.2 percent to 469,000 but dropped 27.9 percent compared to October 2022. On a non-adjusted basis, there were 124,000 permits issued last month, 79,700 of which were for single-family houses, an improvement on the relative numbers in September of 116,700 and 76,500. Permits for the first nine months of 2023 total 1.252 million, down 13.8 percent from the same period last year. The 773,600 permits for single-family houses are a reduction of 10.6 percent from the same period last year and the 432,300 multifamily represent a decrease of 20.1 percent.

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