Housing starts rise in September

Builders began work on more U.S. homes than forecast in September on rising demand for apartments and condominiums as more Americans become renters.

October 19, 2011
housing starts, housing market, new home construction, multifamily construction

Builders began work on more U.S. homes than forecast in September on rising demand for apartments and condominiums as more Americans become renters, according to Business Week.

Housing starts climbed 15 percent to 658,000 houses at an annual rate, the most since April 2010, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 590,000 pace. Beginning construction of multifamily dwellings surged to the highest since October 2008.

Building permits, a proxy for future construction, declined to a five-month low, indicating foreclosures that are adding to the supply of unsold homes and depressing property values may continue to hold back developers. Housing's limited rebound is among reasons Federal Reserve policy makers last month announced more unconventional measures to boost demand and spur job growth.

Housing starts estimates ranged from 560,000 to 643,000 in the Bloomberg survey of 75 economists. August's pace was revised to 572,000 from a previous estimate of 571,000. Home construction totaled 554,000 units in 2009, the fewest since record-keeping began in 1959.

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