Privately-owned housing starts in September rose 15.0 percent above starts in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 658,000 units.  According to the joint monthly report from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released Wednesday, this was also an increase of 10.2 percent from the annual rate of housing starts in September 2010.   The August housing start figure was revised upward in the current report from a preliminary estimate of 571,000 reported last month to 572,000.

Single-family housing starts were at a rate of 425,000, up 1.7 percent from the August figure of 418,000.  Starts for buildings with five units or more were at the rate of 227,000 dramatically higher than the downwardly revised figure of 148,000 in August.  

Housing Starts

Permits for privately owned housing units were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 594,000, 5 percent below the revised August rate of 625,000 (revised substantially upward from 571,000).  One year ago the rate of authorizations was at an annual rate of 562,000

The rate of single family permits was 417,000 a 0.2 percent drop from August while multi-family permits were at the rate of 158,000 compared to 178,000 in August.

Housing completions in September were at a rate of 647,000, up 2.1 percent from August and 2.1 percent higher than one year earlier.

Construction has not yet started on approximately 78,300 permits issued earlier, down from 86,200 in August.  Over one third (31,000) of these backlogged permits are for multi-family structures.

Total housing starts were up in all regions with the largest increase noted in the West at 18.1 percent.  Single family starts rose 46 percent in the Midwest and over 20 percent in the Northeast.  Permits were up in the Northeast (4.9 percent) and the Midwest (0.9 percent) but fell in the South (-7.0 percent) and the West (-9 percent).