US Sept housing starts at 5-mth high, permits fall

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. housing starts
unexpectedly rose in September to a five-month high, but
permits for future home construction fell on a sharp decline in
approvals in the volatile multi-family segment , a government
report showed on Tuesday.

The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 0.3
percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units,
the highest level since April. August starts were revised up to
a 608,000-unit pace from the previously reported rate of
598,000 units.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected housing starts to
slip to a 580,000-unit rate. Compared to September last year,
housing starts were up 4.1 percent.

New building permits dropped 5.6 percent to a 539,000-unit
pace last month after an unrevised 2.1 percent increase in
August. Permits were dragged down by a 20.2 percent tumble in
multi-family units. Permits for single-family homes rose 0.5
percent last month.

Analysts had expected overall building permits to rise to a
580,000-unit pace in September.

Though the housing market is starting to settle down after
hefty declines following the expiration of a government tax
credit for home buyers, an overhang of unsold homes is stifling
recovery.

A survey on Monday showed sentiment among home builders
edged up this month, but remained at depressed levels.

Groundbreaking last month was lifted by a 4.4 percent
increase in single-family home construction. Starts for the
volatile multi-family segment fell 9.7 percent.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

US Sept housing starts at 5-mth high, permits fall