Sales of new homes in the US have bumped up and down for the second half of this year and recovered upward once again in October. While it is true that a slow-down is apparent in both construction and home buying activity, it is important to note that new building activity year-to-date remains almost even compared to January - October of 2021.
Total housing starts in the US for October 2022 fell -4.2% to 1.425 million units compared to the 1.488 million units reported for September, and were down -8.8% from the October 2021 rate of 1.563 million. Data for September 2022 was revised sharply higher, from the previously reported 1.439 million units.
After popping up in September, building permits in October dropped by -2.4%, to 1.526 million units from 1.564 million. This is -10.1% below the October 2021 rate of 1.698 million. During the first ten months of this year building permits were down only slightly compared to the same period in 2021.
It is interesting to note that total permits in August were 1.542 million units, just +7.6% above starts for October. As there is usually a two-month lag between a building permit and a housing start, this data indicates a good momentum for ongoing construction activity.
Combined, there was a very high 1.722 million units under construction, 794,000 of those single-family homes. This is well above the historical record-high of 1.628 million units that were under construction in 1973. These will eventually become starts and help to underpin residential construction.
Benchmark Softwood Lumber Prices Nov & US Housing Starts Oct: 2022
FULL STORY: LinkedIn