The pace of privately owned new residential construction slowed in September, as starts in the multifamily sector fell, and those in the single-family group were flat compared to August.
Including single-family homes and buildings with five or more units, the overall annual rate of housing starts was down 1.6% month over month to 1,555,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Starts were up 7.4% compared to a year ago.
The monthly decrease was driven by a 5.1% slide in the rate of multifamily starts, which hit 467,000. That rate is 38.2% higher than it was in September 2020, according to a press release.
Single-family housing starts, meanwhile, were flat at 1,080,000 units. Year over year, that represents a 2.3% decline from the September 2020 rate of 1,105,000.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate for privately owned housing units authorized by building permits was at 1,589,000 in September, down 7.7% from August’s revised rate and flat compared to August 2020.
Privately owned housing completions hit an annual rate of 1,240,000 in September, down 4.6% from August’s revised rate and down 13% from a year earlier.
By region, September new construction activity was strongest in the West, with a 19.3% gain from August, followed by the Midwest, where it rose 6.9%. In the North, housing starts fell 27.3%, while they fell 6.3% in the South.