The numbers: U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million in September, representing a 1.9% increase from the previous month’s downwardly-revised figure, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Compared with last year, housing starts were up 11%.
Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.55 million, up more than 5% from August and 8% from a year ago.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to occur at a pace of 1.45 million and building permits to come in at a pace of 1.52 million.
What happened: The modest increase in housing starts was fully driven by an 8.5% uptick in single-family starts, as multifamily construction activity dipped once again. Multifamily starts dipped nearly 15% on a monthly basis in September. And while single-family starts were up 22% from last year, multifamily starts were down 17%.