The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported a small improvement in the number of permits issued in September after a dismal report in August. Housing starts, however, gave back much of the prior month’s double-digit gains. Permits were issued for construction of residential units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.564 million units in September, a 1.4 percent increase from the rate of 1.542 in August. This leaves the permitting rate down 3.2 percent compared to September 2021. The permitting rate was slightly higher than expected. Analysts polled by Econoday had a consensus estimate of 1.550 million units while Trading Economics’ consensus was 1.530 million. Single-family permits dropped by 3.1 percent to 872,000, an annual decrease of 17.3 percent. Permits for units in buildings with five or more gained 8.2 percent to 644,000, 25.5 percent year-over-year growth. There were 129,600 permits issued during the month, down from 139,000 in August. The decline was isolated to single-family permits which fell from 81,000 in August to 70,900. For the year-to-date (YTD) there have been 1.315 million permits issued compared to 1.311 during the same period in 2021. Single-family permitting is down 7.6 percent to 799,700 while multifamily permitting has seen 17.1 percent growth to 475,900 units. Housing starts had jumped by 12.2 percent in August to a rate of 1.517 million and was then adjusted upward to 1.566 million. However, the seasonally adjusted September rate dropped back by 8.1 percent to 1.439 million, 7.7 percent below the September 2021 figure.