Tags: housing starts | building permits | apartments | homes

Home Starts Fall More Than Forecast on Multifamily Drop

Home Starts Fall More Than Forecast on Multifamily Drop

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 08:47 AM

New-home building declined more than projected in October, led by a slump in apartment construction and showing fitful progress in residential real estate.

Residential starts dropped 11 percent to a 1.06 million annualized rate, the slowest since March, from a revised 1.19 million pace the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed Wednesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 1.16 million. The most construction permits for single-family homes since 2007 indicates ground-breaking will rebound in coming months.

The figures suggest the real-estate market is settling into a more sustainable pace, fueled by persistent job growth and cheap borrowing costs. A labor market that begins to drive faster wage growth would help provide additional impetus for home sales, contributing more to the economy.

The decrease last month shows residential construction “that’s more consistent and more sustainable,” Millan Mulraine, deputy head of U.S. research and strategy at TD Securities LLC in New York, said before the report. “Underlying fundamentals remain favorable, and much of it has to do with the buoyancy in the labor market.”

Estimates for starts in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 1.06 million to 1.25 million after a previously reported September pace of 1.21 million.

Permits, a proxy of future construction, increased 4.1 percent to a 1.15 million annualized rate. They were led by an increase in applications for single-family homes, which climbed to a 711,000 pace, the strongest since December 2007.

The drop in starts last month was primarily due to a 25.1 percent slump in work on multifamily homes, the biggest drop since August 2014. Data on these projects, which have led housing starts in recent years, tend to be volatile.

One-Family Homes

Construction of single-family houses fell 2.4 percent a 722,000 rate. The figure was due to a drop in the South as starts of one-family units picked up in the rest of the country.

Two of four regions showed decreases in starts last month, led by an 18.6 percent slump in the South, the report showed. Construction dropped 16.2 percent in the West.

Homebuilders are relatively upbeat about the market and the outlook for residential real estate. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index eased this month to 62 from a decade-high 65 in October, the group’s report showed Tuesday.

Measures of current and future single-family sales declined, while a gauge of buyer traffic increased to its strongest since October 2005. Readings above 50 mean more respondents said conditions were good.

Labor Market

Stronger hiring has helped drive purchases as some newly hired Americans relocate. Payroll growth surged in October by the most this year. Last month’s advance lifted the monthly average so far in 2015 to 206,000. That compares with a 260,000 last year that was the best since 1999.

Borrowing costs also have remained a tailwind for those who can be approved for a loan. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.98 percent in the week ended Nov. 12, according to Freddie Mac data. That’s close to the 3.83 percent average this year, and compares with the 6.06 percent average in the five years leading to the last recession.

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New-home building declined more than projected in October, led by a slump in apartment construction and showing fitful progress in residential real estate.
housing starts, building permits, apartments, homes
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 08:47 AM
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