The U.S. Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development released October 26 new home sales and house price data for September 2021. New home sales comprise 10% of real estate activity and are considered a leading housing market indicator as they are recorded when contracts are signed.
Bumping up and down for the past few months, US total housing starts for September 2021 dropped by -1.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.555 million. Continuing to make year-over-year gains, for September 2021 total residential starts in the US rose by +7.4% from the same month one year ago, when it was 1.448 million.
Also waffling up and down in recent months, permits for future homebuilding in September were down by -7.7% compared to August 2021, when it was 1.721 million, to a rate of 1.589 million units. September 2021 permits are flat compared to September 2020 when it was 1.589 million.
September starts of single-family housing, the largest share of the market and construction method which uses the most wood, was 1.080 million annualized, which is also flat compared to August 2021. Single-family permits were again almost flat, at 1.041 million units compared to August when it was 1.050 million units.