U.S. home builders broke ground on more apartment buildings in October, driving housing starts up 3 percent to an unexpected seasonally adjusted rate of 1.229 million, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
But builders trimmed permits for future building projects by 6.6 percent. They also cut back 7.3 percent on single-family homes to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 884,000, the lowest level of single-family home building since the last recession in October of 1991.
The levels varied regionally. Home starts in the Northeast rose 8.5 percent overall, and starts of single-family homes rose 29.5 percent. Single-family starts in the Midwest were up 15.1 percent with the overall increase at 21.1 percent.
In the South, overall starts dropped 4.6 percent and single-family starts fell 19.5 percent. Starts in the West rose 5.8 percent overall but single-family home starts dropped 8.1 percent.
Source: Thomas Financial, Dennis Moore (11/20/07)