Wednesday morning, before the opening bell, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that housing starts increased 4.9% month over month in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million. That figure was up from September's revised rate of 1.459 million and exceeded expectations for a 1.46 million unit rate of starts. With October's reading, housing starts are up 14.2% from the same time last year.
Digging deeper, monthly single-family housing starts advanced 6.4% (+29.4% year over year) to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,179,000, up from September's revised rate of 1,108,000, while housing starts for complexes with five or more units fell 3.2% (-19.9% YoY) to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 334,000, down from September's revised rate of 345,000.
By region, on a monthly basis, total housing starts fell 38.6% in the Northeast (-32.8% YoY) while rising 3.3% in the Midwest (+23.0% YoY), 12.9% in the South (+24.3% YoY) and 4.2% in the West (+5.4% YoY).