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Multifamily Gains Push Housing Starts Up 6.5 Percent in September

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 21, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Led by a jump in multifamily production, nationwide housing starts increased 6.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units in September from an upwardly revised August reading, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Multifamily starts rose 18.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 466,000 units while single-family production edged up 0.3 percent to 740,000 units.

“Although our builders are gaining confidence in the housing market, they remain cautious about adding too much inventory,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.

“Despite the modest month-over-month differentials in single-family production, this sector has shown gradual improvement throughout 2015,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Since January, single-family starts are up 11 percent and we anticipate a similar pace for the rest of this year.”

Combined single- and multifamily starts rose in three of the four regions in September. The Northeast, South and West posted respective gains of 23.4 percent, 0.6 percent and 25.4 percent. The Midwest registered a 12.2 percent loss.

Single-family permits edged down 0.3 percent to a rate of 697,000 while multifamily permits fell 12.1 percent to 406,000.

Regionally, the Midwest, South and West posted respective permit losses of 5.1 percent, 6.8 percent and 6.2 percent. The Northeast rose 8.3 percent.

Elizabeth Thompson