Housing Starts & Completions Drop in October 2015

The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD announced November 18, 2015 that single family residential construction slowed in October 2015 in both starts and completions. Housing starts decreased 2.4 percent from the prior month with September showing 740,000 starts and October dropping to 722,000 starts.

Single-family completions also dropped, but less significantly, down 0.5 percent from September to October 2015 with the September rate of 643,000 dropping to 640,000 in the next month. Construction labor shortages could be contributing to the problem, according to NAHB Chief Economist and SVP David Crowe.

He offers a possible explanation for the slow-down in a recent MReport article: “The steady increase in residential starts in 2015 has produced a steady increase in the number of homes under construction although carrying them through to completion slowed a bit as labor shortages, especially finishing carpenters, slow the ability to get finishing touches done," he said.

One place where housing did not see a drop was in building permits. The single-family housing market building permits were at a rate of 711,000 in October 2015, up from 694,000 in the prior month—an increase of 2.4 percent.