U.S. Housing Starts Rise 6.3% In September

MarketWatch Pulse

Construction started on new U.S. homes rose 6.3% in September, bouncing up after a sizable August drop, led by growth for volatile apartment building, according to government data released Friday. The annual rate of total housing starts rose to 1.02 million last month, just about matching economists' consensus forecast, from 957,000 in August, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. The construction pace for single-family homes rose 1.1% in September, while apartment starts in buildings with at least five units zoomed up 18.5%. The pace of overall construction starts was up 17.8% from the year-earlier period, signaling a continuation of the market's rebound. The annual pace of permits for new construction, a sign of future demand, inched up 1.5% to 1.02 million in September from 1 million in August. Permits for single-family homes declined 0.5% in September, while permits in buildings with at least five units rose 7%. Economists caution over reading too much into a single monthly report. A confidence interval of plus or minus 9.3% for September's overall starts growth of 6.3% shows that the government isn't sure whether the pace of construction rose or fell last month.

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