Even with the decline, September’s housing starts remained above the long-run equilibrium of 1.5 million units.
On the state level, housing starts bounced back in the West and Midwest regions, rising by 17.8% and 7%, respectively, on the month after posting significant drops in the previous month. The South recorded the biggest drop in housing starts, down by 6.6% on the month, likely because of the residual impact of Hurricane Ida in early September. New permits—a proxy for future construction—saw an even more significant drop in September, down by 7.7% to 1.589 million from the downwardly revised 1.721 million in the prior month. Permits for both single-family and multifamily units declined on the month, down by 0.9% and 18.3%, respectively. Also in the report, the number of houses under construction rose by 1.3% in September, while the number for completions was down by 4.6% compared to the prior month.