Home construction stays hot, economic bright spot

Strong demand, low inventory and record levels of homebuilder confidence continue to support new home construction

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Home construction rose 4.9% in October as home building remains as one of the bright spots of the economy.

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The increase pushed home construction to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million homes and apartments and followed a more modest gain of 1.9% in September.

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Building permits, a good barometer of future activity, remained at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.55 million annualized units, effectively unchanged from September. The figure remains up 2.8% from a year earlier, showing how strong the housing market was over the summer despite the pandemic.

“Strong demand, low inventory, and record levels of homebuilder confidence continue to support new home construction,” wrote Nancy Vanden Houten, an economist with Oxford Economics.

Several reports over the last two months have shown the housing market cooling off after a tremendous summer, but that is not surprising. The fall and winter are typically slow times for home buying and home construction, mostly due to the weather.

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