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Housing Starts and Permits Show Strongest Growth in 4 Years
Oct 18, 2012
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A 15% gain in the pace of new housing construction brought it to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 units, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

An 11.6% gain in the pace of new home permits brought it to 894,000 units. These were the strongest numbers seen in both categories since July of 2008.

"Builders are responding to the rising demand for new homes as consumers begin to feel more confident about their local markets and put back into motion purchasing plans that were on hold during the recession," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a homebuilder from Gainesville, FL.

September single-family construction posted an 11% gain to a rate of 603,000 units, reaching its best pace since August 2008.

Multifamily construction showed a 25.1% gain to 269,000 units, to its highest pace since September of 2008.

The issuing of new building permits, seen as an indicator of future building activity, gained in both sectors to their highest level since July 2008. Single-family permits in September 2012 were up 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 545,000 units. Multifamily permits rose 20.3% to 349,000 units.

"Today's strong report corresponds with the significant gains we've seen in builder confidence over the past year, and confirms our view that a housing recovery is solidly underway in a growing number of markets nationwide," added NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "That said, we are now almost at the half-way mark in terms of what would be considered a normal amount of new-home construction in a healthy economy, and we need to see consistent improvement like this over an extended period to get back to where the market should be in terms of generating jobs and economic growth."

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