U.S. building permits for private homes up +5.9% in October – housing starts increase +13.7%

Washington, DC – November 17, 2017 – The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for October 2017:

Building Permits – Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,297,000. This is 5.9 percent (±1.4 percent) above the revised September rate of 1,225,000 and is 0.9 percent (±1.6 percent) above the October 2016 rate of 1,285,000. Single-family authorizations in October were at a rate of 839,000; this is 1.9 percent (±1.7 percent) above the revised September figure of 823,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 416,000 in October.

Housing Starts – Privately-owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,290,000. This is 13.7 percent (±10.5 percent) above the revised September estimate of 1,135,000, but is 2.9 percent (±10.1 percent) below the October 2016 rate of 1,328,000. Single-family housing starts in October were at a rate of 877,000; this is 5.3 percent (±12.1 percent) above the revised September figure of 833,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 393,000.

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U.S. Architecture Billings Index has “modest uptick” in October

Washington, DC – November 15, 2017 – After a stand-alone month of contracting demand for design services, there was a modest uptick in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for October. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the October ABI score was 51.7, up from a score of 49.1 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 60.2, up from a reading of 59.0 the previous month, while the new design contracts index eased slightly from 52.9 to 52.8.

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Canadian housing starts unchanged in October

Ottawa, ON - November 8, 2017 - The trend in housing starts was 216, 770 units in October 2017, compared to 215,153 units in September 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

"The trend in housing starts essentially held steady in October following a decrease in September,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. ”Nevertheless, new home construction remains very strong in 2017, as the seasonally adjusted number of starts has been above 200,000 units in nine of ten months so far this year.”

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Canadian building permits rose +3.8% in September

Ottawa, ON - November 8, 2017 - Building permits rose in September for the first time in three months, as strength in the non-residential sector outweighed some weakness in the residential sector. Canadian municipalities issued $7.9 billion worth of building permits in September, up 3.8% from the previous month. A 1.7% decrease in the residential sector was more than offset by a 13.9% increase in the non-residential sector. A high-value institutional building permit issued in Alberta was behind much of the increase.

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U.S. construction spending in September increased +0.3%

Washington, DC - November 1, 2017 - Construction spending during September 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1, 219.5 billion, 0.3 percent (±1.3 percent) above the revised August estimate of $1,216.0 billion. The September figure is 2.0 percent (±1.6 percent) above the September 2016 estimate of $1,195.6 billion. During the first 9 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $917.0 billion, 4.3 percent (±1.2 percent) above the $879.6 billion for the same period in 2016.

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U.S. new single-family home sales in September rose +18.9%

Washington, DC - October 25, 2017 - Sales of new single-family houses in September 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667, 000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 18.9 percent (±19.0 percent) above the revised August rate of 561,000 and is 17.0 percent (±22.4 percent) above the September 2016 estimate of 570,000.

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Euro area construction down by -0.2% in August

Brussels – October 18, 2017 - In August 2017 compared with July 2017, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector decreased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.4% in the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In July 2017, production in construction remained stable in the euro area, while it grew by 0.1% in the EU28.

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Canadian Home Builders’ Association launch Net Zero Home Labelling Program

Ottawa, ON - May 2, 2017 – The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) today officially launched its Net Zero Home Labelling Program - continuing CHBA’s long history in leading energy efficiency in residential construction. The Program provides the industry and consumers with a clearly defined and rigorous two-tiered technical requirement that recognizes Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes, and identifies the builders and renovators who provide them. A pilot version of the Net Zero Home Labelling Program ran from September 2015 to December 2016 to validate technical and administrative details.

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Growth in renovation spending in the U.S. will continue to grow in 2017 – remaining over +5%

Cambridge, MA – April 20, 2017 - Strong gains in home remodeling and repair activity are expected to ease moving into next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects that annual growth in home improvement and repair expenditure this year will remain above its long-term trend of 5 percent, but will decline steadily from 7.3 percent in the first quarter to 6.1 percent by the first quarter of 2018.

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Canada building permits fall -6.6% in December … Down -0.8% in all of 2016

Ottawa, ON - February 7, 2017 - Municipalities issued $7.2 billion worth of building permits in December, down 6.6% from November. Lower construction intentions were recorded for all components, led by commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings. In the residential sector, eight provinces posted declines while Ontario reported a record high. In the non-residential sector, the value of building permits fell for the second time in six months, down 11.5% to $2.3 billion in December, led by lower construction intentions for commercial buildings. Decreases were reported in seven provinces, with Ontario, Alberta and Quebec posting the largest declines.

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