Building Permits In October, 2011 Were Up 10.9%

November 17, 2011

Eli Y. Robbins Construction Law


The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released data today indicating that privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 653,000. This is 10.9 percent above the revised September rate of 589,000 and is 17.7 percent above the October 2010 estimate of 555,000. Single-family authorizations in October were at a rate of 434,000; this is 5.1 percent above the revised September figure of 413,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 202,000 in October.

With respect to housing starts, privately-owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000. This is 0.3 percent below the revised September estimate of 630,000, but is 16.5 percent above the October 2010 rate of 539,000. Single-family housing starts in October were at a rate of 430,000; this is 3.9 percent above the revised September figure of 414,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 183,000.

Privately-owned housing completions in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 584,000. This is 5.7 percent below the revised September estimate of 619,000 and is 2.8 percent below the October 2010 rate of 601,000. Single-family housing completions in October were at a rate of 453,000; this is 7.1 percent above the revised September rate of 423,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 129,000.

According to Celia Chen, a housing economist with Moody’s Analytics, “A strong residential construction number is a welcome relief for an economy struggling to hang on to expansion and a hopeful harbinger of better days to come.... Caution, however, needs to be taken in interpreting the surprisingly strong top-line housing starts for September.”