U.S. home builders responded to deteriorating conditions in the housing market by further reducing the pace of new construction and permit issuance in October to the lowest levels for any single month on record, according to the U.S. Commerce Department today.
Overall housing starts declined 4.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 791,000 units in October, which was the slowest pace recorded for any month since the U.S. government started keeping track in 1959. Single-family starts declined for a fifth consecutive month, by 3.3% to 531,000 units, which was the slowest pace since October 1981. Multifamily starts fell 6.8% to 260,000 units.
Issuance of building permits, which can be an indicator of future building activity, was down across the board in October. Total permits registered a 12% decline to 708,000 units - the lowest rate for any month on record since the series began. Single-family permits fell 14.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 460,000 units, the lowest level since February of 1982. Multifamily permits fell 12.3% to 241,000 units.
Regionally, permit issuance fell 23.7% in the Northeast, 3.7% in the Midwest, 13.5% in the South, and 8.8% in the West.
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