Permits for future U.S. home construction reached their highest level in nearly 5-1/2 years, according to figures released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau.
Building permits in October jumped 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.03 million units, the highest rate since June 2008. Permits, which lead housing starts by at least a month, were up 13.9 percent from a year ago.
Single-family permits in October were authorized at an annual rate of 620,000--0.8 percent more than the pace of 615,000 in September. Permits for buildings with five or more units checked in at a rate of 387,000.
HUD and the Census Bureau postponed the release of figures on housing starts and completions for September and October until Dec. 18 because the collection of data was affected by the 16-day government shutdown last month. November data will also be published at that time.