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New Home Numbers Haven't Bounced Back Yet

Looking at this month's residential construction statistics leads to only one conclusion: New home numbers haven't bounced back yet, though some forms of residential construction are starting to stir.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for October 2010:


Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits rose 0.5 percent above September's rate of 547,000, but still 4.5 percent below the October 2009 numbers. Single-family authorizations in October were at a rate of 406,000. That's 1 percent above the numbers for the previous month.


Housing starts track the number of new houses (aka housing units) on which construction has been started.
Privately-owned housing starts in October were 11.7 percent below the September estimate of 588,000 and is 1.9 percent below the October 2009 rate of 529,000. Single-family housing starts in October were at a rate of 436,000, 1.1 percent below the revised September figure of 441,000.


Privately-owned housing completions in October were 3.2 percent below the estimate for the previous month and 18.4 percent below the October 2009 rate. Single-family housing completions in October were at a rate of 501,000; 2.7 percent above the revised September rate of 488,000.

No matter how you look at it, new home numbers aren't creating the kinds of jobs or sales you'd want to see in a housing recovery.


Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at, a community for real estate investors.
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