Housing Starts at Four-Year High

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New housing starts in September soared to an annual seasonally adjusted rate of 872,000, an increase of 15% from the revised August rate of 758,000 and a gain of 34.8% above the September 2011 rate of 647,000. A consensus estimate from a survey of economists expected the rate to rise to 770,000.

The seasonally adjusted rate of new building permits rose to 894,000, which is 11.6% above the revised August rate of 801,000 and 45.1% higher than the September 2011 rate of 616,000.

Single-family housing starts rose to an annualized rate of 603,000 in September, up 11% from the revised August rate of 543,000. In the year to date, single-family housing starts are up 26.6% year-over-year.

Permits for new single-family homes rose 6.7% in September, to an adjusted annual rate of 545,000, from 511,000 in August. The adjusted annual rate for buildings of five units or more rose from 263,000 in August to 323,000 in September, up 22.8% month-over-month and a jump of 93.4% year-over-year.

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) yesterday reported a six-year high in its builder confidence index. Today's report from the U.S. Census Bureau provides some solid backup to that rise in confidence.

Paul Ausick

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