Home construction appears to remain on a slight upward trajectory with housing starts in October hitting 894,000 units, up 3.6% from September's estimate of 863,000 starts, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday.
Compared to last year, October starts are up 29.8% from 667,000 starts a year earlier.
The number of new home construction projects completed hit an annual rate of 772,000 units in October, up 14.5% from September and 33.6% above year ago levels.
"October's gain is centered in the West and Midwest with the South posting a small decline and the Northeast, which was hit by Hurricane Sandy at month end, posting a sizable decline," said analysts with Econoday. "Yet the Commerce Department says the effect of the hurricane on October's results was minimal. It notes houses that have to be completely rebuilt because of the storm will be counted as new homes."
Building permits, on the other hand, fell a bit in October.
The number of filings for building permits hit a rate of 866,000, down 2.7% from September but up 29.8% from October of 2011 when the government reported 667,000 permit filings.
Homebuilders are generally becoming more optimistic as well, according to a new report from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The index this week showed builders gaining confidence again in October, although more than half are still seeing the market as below average.