Single-family housing starts, building permits and completions jumped from September 2004 to September 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today.

Single-family authorizations in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,749,000, which is about 4.4 percent above the August figure. The seasonally adjusted annual rate is computed by projecting a monthly total over a 12-month period, accounting for seasonal fluctuations in the market.

Single-family housing starts in September 2005 were at a rate of 1,747,000, or about 2.6 percent above the August figure of 1,703,000.  Single-family housing completions in September 2005 were at a rate of 1,680,000, or about 4.2 percent above the August figure of 1,612,000, the agencies reported.

Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 352,000 in September. The September rate of housing starts units for buildings with five units or more was 303,000. The September rate of housing completions for units in buildings with five units or more was 265,000.

The overall seasonally adjusted annual rate of privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September was 2,189,000, or about 2.4 percent above the revised August rate of 2,138,000 and about 7.4 percent above the September 2004 estimate of 2,039,000.

The overall rate of privately-owned housing starts in September was 2,108,000, which is about 3.4 percent above the revised August estimate of 2,038,000 and about 10.3 percent above the September 2004 rate of 1,912,000.

The overall rate of privately-owned housing completions in September was 1,979,000, which is about 3.2 percent above the revised August estimate of 1,917,000 and about 10.9 percent above the September 2004 rate of 1,784,000.

Month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular, the Census Bureau noted. It can take four months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The federal statistics are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as non-sampling error including bias and variance from response, non-reporting, and under-coverage, according to the announcement.

On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised about 1 percent.

New Residential Construction data for October 2005 will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, Nov. 17.

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