New housing starts rose in September to a rate not seen since 2008 according to a Commerce Department report issued on October 17th. Single family home starts rose 11%, and multiunit starts jumped 25% for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000, 15% higher than August.
New construction actually fell 5.6% in the Northeast, but increases of almost 20% in the South and West helped generate an 82% increase in construction levels nationwide from their April 2009 trough. Building permits, reaching an 894,000 seasonally adjusted annual pace, also exceeded forecasts. The West has had a 56.8% increase in pulled permits from September 2011 to September 2012. According to Bloomberg, “Demand for apartments nationwide is the strongest in a generation.” Despite the growth, the numbers remain below healthy market levels, which would need to exceed a million units annually. In 2006, the annual housing start rate was more than two million units.