Building Permits as a whole decreased 4.5% last month. While permits for Single Family Homes increased 2.4%, the 16% drop in the Multifamily sector is what brought that overall number down below expectations. Housing Starts also were down 4.7%. The South saw the largest drop in the beginning phase of newly-constructed homes; down 9.3% in September. Interestingly enough, almost half of the new homes built built in the US. are in the South.
As with any business, you go where the money is. With the federal government shoveling $14 billion into the cleanup efforts after two major hurricanes, a slower-paced building number doesn’t mean that anyone in the new construction arena is out of work right now in the South. I suspect that many of the resources that had been used to erect new homes are now are being utilized in the post-hurricane clean up effort.