The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are still playing catch-up from the government shutdown that squashed data reports through much of October.  Today they issued a combined September-October report on permits authorized for residential construction but have delayed the information on housing starts and housing completions that is usually a part of their residential construction summary until December 18.

Permits for residential construction issued in September were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 974,000, a 5.2 percent increase from the 926,000 permits reported in August.  The August number was revised upward from the 918,000 permits originally reported.   

Permits in October were stronger still, at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,034,000, an increase of 6.2 percent over September and 13.9 percent above the 908,000 permits issued in October 2012. 

Single family permits in September were at a rate of 615,000 compared to 627,000 in August.  Single family permits in October were at a rate of 620,000, an increase of 0.8 percent.  October's number was 8.8 percent higher than that of a year earlier. Multifamily permitting accounted for all of the gains, with September and October at rates of 359,000  3414,000 units respectively.  October represents a whopping 24 percent increase from a year earlier.

October Permits in the Northeast were unchanged from September at 101,000 and up 23.2 percent from October 2012.  In the Midwest permits dropped 9.6 percent from 177,000 in September to 160,000 in October and were 2.6 percent above the October 2012 number.  Permitting in the South took big jumps in both September and October with 501,000 and 548,000 permits issued in the two months respectively, up from 423,000 in August.  The October number was a 14.4 percent increase from a year earlier. The West saw 328,000 new permits in September and 332,000 in October.  The latter was a 17.8 percent increase from the previous year.