Last week, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that October housing starts dipped by a more-than-expected 5.6% to 2.014 million units - the lowest level since March. Single-family home starts declined 3.7%, after increasing 3% in September while multi-family starts fell by 14.8%. The Northeast, Midwest and the West experienced the most significant declines, at 7.5%, 10.5% and 10.8%, respectively. By contrast, starts in the South only dipped by 0.5%, due primarily to post-hurricane reconstructions.
Building permits - an indicator of homebuilder confidence - also saw a noticeable decline, dropping by 6.7% in October from a 32-year high the previous month. October building permits pulled back to a 2.07 million rate versus the 2.219 million September number.