Multifamily housing starts hit a 4-year high in October, totaling 894,000 — a 3.6 percent increase over September, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, MBA NewsLink reported Nov. 21.
“Multifamily starts are now up 37 percent on a year-to-date basis from the prior year and permits are up even more than that, climbing 54.5 percent, suggesting building activity will remain strong for some time to come,” Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, N.C., told MBA NewsLink.
Single-family housing starts remained consistent, rising just 0.2 percent from September (594,000) to October (595,000), while the rate for units in buildings with five units or more surged to 285,000 from September’s 259,000 — an 11.9 percent increase and nearly 63 percent higher than a year ago, MBA NewsLink reported.
“The report is generally good news,” Vitner told MBA NewsLink. “Housing is one area poised to do better during the coming year, even if the overall economy stumbles a bit.”
On the regional level, housing starts rose by 17.2 percent in the West since September (a 73.1 percent improvement from a year ago) and 8.9 percent in the Midwest since September (a 4.5 percent improvement from a year ago).
However, housing starts fell by 6.5 percent in the Northeast since September (but improved by 10.8 percent from a year ago) and 2.5 percent in the South (which improved 34.3 percent improvement from a year ago).