October Housing Starts Shows Signs of More Multi-Family Development

October experienced 1.37 million new housing starts, up from September but down year-over-year.

Posted November 21, 2023

Housing starts in the U.S. are increasing above pre-pandemic levels but high demand and mortgage rates are continuing to cause a slowdown in single-family development.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate for housing starts reached 1.37 million in October, an increase of 1.9 percent from revised September 2023 figures and down 4.2 percent from October 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Housing permits issued in October were also up with a total of 1.49 million. An increase of 1.1 percent from September and down 4.4 percent from a year ago.

While single-family housing starts increased to 970,000 in October, a total estimation of 1.4 million homes were completed in October, down 4.6 percent from September but up 4.6 percent year-over-year.

After declining for most of 2023, multi-family starts moved up in October while single-family homes remained static, according to Zillow.

Home builders are feeling the pressure too, Zillow experts say.

Sentiment among homebuilders fell again in October due to the high financing costs and an increase in mortgage rates to 7.79 percent, a 23-year high.

In October, 3.79 million existing homes sold, a decrease of 4.1 percent from September and down 14.6 percent from October 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors.