October 17th, 2018 2:11 PM by Eric Fang
All three reports on residential construction activity in September were disappointing, but no more so than any of the other housing data that speaks to the ongoing process of leveling-off. While there had been some erosion expected from the August numbers, the actual data did not meet analysts' expectations. Upward revisions to August permitting took some of the sting out of that report, but the opposite happened with housing starts. Results were particularly poor in the South, likely resulting from the impact of Hurricane Florence.
Permits for residential construction were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,241,000 units. This is 0.6 percent lower than the August estimate of 1,249,000 and 1.0 percent below the annual rate of 1,254,000 the previous September. The August number was an upward revision from the 1,229,000 units previously reported, wiping out some of that month's original 5.7 percent loss.
Analysts polled by Econoday had expected permits to be at a rate of 1,272,000 units. Estimates ranged from 1,230,000 to 1,287,000.