US housing market continues to bounce back from collapse

Ben Southwood
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BUILDING permits, housing starts and housing completions in the United States grew rapidly into October, according to statistics out yesterday, signalling continued recovery in the US housing market.

Permits were up 29.8 per cent in the year to October, the data from the US Housing Department and Census Bureau showed, even after a 2.7 per cent fall into September. Housing starts grew some 3.6 per cent between September and October, hitting a four year high of 894,000, to cap off the 41.9 per cent boost seen since October last year. And to finish the picture, housing completions rocketed up 14.5 per cent between September and October, making them 33.6 per cent higher than just a year ago.

The Commerce Department said very little of the boom could be attributed to the impact of superstorm Sandy – which made up just eight per cent of overall housing starts, and where new building actually fell 6.5 per cent.

This came as weekly chain store sale data also revealed an improvement on last year’s figures. Sales were up 2.5 per cent on the year, the data from an industry body revealed, but down 0.3 per cent over the week.