Housing starts in the United States fell sharply by 4.7 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1,127 thousand in September 2017 from an upwardly revised 1,183 thousand in August, compared with market expectations of a 0.5 percent decline to 1,180 thousand. It was the lowest level since September 2016, as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disrupted the construction of single-family homes in the South. Housing Starts in the United States averaged 1435.60 Thousand from 1959 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 2494 Thousand in January of 1972 and a record low of 478 Thousand in April of 2009.
US Housing Starts Fall for 2nd Month
Housing starts in the United States fell 0.8 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1180 thousand in August of 2017, following an upwardly revised 1190 thousand in the previous month and compared to market expectations of a 1.7 percent rise. Starts declined in the Northeast and the South.
The volatile multi-family segment slumped 5.8 percent to 323 thousand. In contrast, single-family starts, the largest segment of the market increased 1.6 percent to 851 thousand. Starts went down in the Northeast (-8.7 percent to 105 thousand) and the South (-7.9 percent to 563 thousand) but rose in the Midwest (22 percent to 200 thousand) and the West (4 percent to 312 thousand).
Building permits increased sharply by 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1300 thousand, way above market expectations of 1220 thousand. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more jumped 22.8 percent to 464 thousand while single-family permits dropped 1.5 percent to 800 thousand. Permits rose in the Midwest (8.8 percent to 185 thousand), the West (15.3 percent to 362 thousand) and the South (3.7 percent to 646 thousand) but fell in the Northeast (-13 percent to 107 thousand).
Year-on-year, starts rose 1.4 percent and permits went up 8.3 percent.
Data released for August suggested a limit impact from storms as Hurricane Harvey impacted construction activity in Texas only for the last week of the month and Hurricane Irma did not have an impact until September. Moreover, the response rate from areas affected by both hurricanes was not significantly lower than normal. Together, Texas and Florida accounted for about 13 percent of 2016 US authorizations and 26 percent of authorizations in the South region.