Wednesday, November 17, 2004

New residential construction in October 2004

U.S. Dept of Commerce

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for October 2004:

BUILDING PERMITS
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,984,000. This is 0.7 percent (±0.9%) below the revised September rate of 1,998,000 and is 1.5 percent (±0.9%) below the October 2003 estimate of
2,015,000. Single-family authorizations in October were at a rate of 1,525,000; this is 2.2 percent (±0.8%) below the September figure of 1,559,000.
Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 364,000 in October.

HOUSING STARTS
Privately-owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2,027,000. This is 6.4 percent (±7.5%) above the revised September estimate of 1,905,000 and is 2.2 percent (±5.7%) above the October 2003 rate of 1,983,000.
Single-family housing starts in October 2004 were at a rate of 1,645,000; this is 5.7 percent (±7.3%) above the September figure of 1,556,000. The October estimate for units in buildings with five units or more was 338,000.

HOUSING COMPLETIONS
Privately-owned housing completions in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,834,000. This is 2.7 percent (±7.5%) above the revised September estimate of 1,785,000, and is 6.0 percent (±8.0%) above the October 2003 rate of 1,731,000. Single-family housing completions in October 2004 were at a rate of 1,538,000; this is 0.1 percent (±8.0%) below the September figure of 1,539,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 271,000.

EXPLANATORY NOTES
In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take 4 months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, 5 months for total starts, and 6 months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error
including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2%) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percent change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percent changes are 90-percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range contains zero, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease; that is, the change is not statistically significant. The same applies to the confidence intervals for percent changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of
total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised about one percent. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found on our web site listed below.

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