Housing starts unexpectedly drop as materials shortages persist
Starts fell 0.7% in October
U.S. homebuilding unexpectedly slowed in October as builders continued to struggle with higher costs and supply shortages.
Housing starts fell 0.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.52 million, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 1.576 million starts.
Meanwhile, permits for future construction rose 4% to 1.65 million, exceeding the 1.638 million units that were anticipated.
Supply chain disruptions that developed in the wake of the pandemic have made it more difficult for builders to find materials. The shortages have led to higher costs, which have caused many builders to delay projects.
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Despite the shortages, the National Association of Home Builders said in a report released Tuesday that strong demand and tight supplies caused builder confidence to rise for a third consecutive month in November.