By David Urani
October housing permits data are out this morning, and in fact starts are usually the highlight of this report but thanks to government shutdown we only got the permits part. The good news is overall housing starts hit a rate of 1.03 million annually adjusted and that was the best result since June 2008. Starts were up 6.2% month to month and 13.9% year over year. However, most of the activity during the month was in multi-family units like apartments and condos, which typically show volatility given their nature of being built in bulk. Still, single-family units did also increase, by a modest 0.6% to 620k. Single-family units were still down from the August high of 627k.
On the pricing side we got the Case Shiller index for September (it's also a three-month moving average, so as always it's a lagging indicator). The index was up 0.7% month to month (non-seasonally adjusted), marking the tenth increase in a row. That also puts prices, similar to the permits result, at their highest point since mid-2008. On a year over year basis prices were up 13.3%.