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  • Writer's pictureDistinctive Mortgages

Housing starts fall in September due to multifamily pullback...

Nationwide housing starts fell 9.4% from August to September, ending last month on a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.256 million units.

That’s according to the newest data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Commerce, which also upwardly revised the annual rate of new starts in August to 1.386 million.

In one sense, the decline isn’t particularly surprising, as new-home construction hit a post-recession high in August. And although single-family starts held steady, increasing 0.3% month over month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 918,000 units, much of the overall drop in new housing was due to a drastic pullback in multifamily construction. After a stout August pace of 471,000 units, multifamily starts fell 28.2% month over month to 338,000.

Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), called the level of multifamily starts in August “unsustainably high" and, despite the big decline, said that the sector remains “running at a solid pace.”

“Meanwhile, the rebound for single-family construction continues,” he said. “Single-family permits have increased since April and single-family starts have posted gains since May. In another positive development, September marked the first monthly increase for the number of single-family homes currently under construction since January.” 10/19/19 Scotsman Guide

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