US housing starts shoot up 15% in Sept as recovery gains speed

17 October 2012 14:27  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US home building saw a solid 15% advance in September from August, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday, and an equally strong gain in building permits suggests that the housing recovery will continue.

In its monthly report on residential construction, the department said that housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 872,000, a gain of 15% over the upwardly revised August figure of 758,000.

The September advance also marked a nearly 35% improvement over home building activity recorded for the same month a year ago.

The strongest gain in new home construction last month was in apartment buildings, which saw a 25% advance compared with August.

But in the crucial and core segment for single-family homes, new construction was up by a solid 11%.

The housing market is a key downstream consumer sector for the chemicals industry, driving demand for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives, roofing materials and synthetic fibres, among many others.

 The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each new home built represents some $15,000 (€11,550) worth of chemicals and derivatives used in the structure or in production of component materials.

The department’s report also noted that building permits issued in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000, an 11.6% gain over the August pace and a jaw-dropping 45% improvement compared with the same month in 2011.

Building permits are issued by local governments when contractors are ready to break ground and begin construction of a residential structure, so monthly permitting data are seen as a real-time indicator of the housing sector’s near-term prospects.

The 11.6% advance in the number of permits issued last month suggests that housing construction data for October will show another solid gain for housing starts.

The strong gains last month in housing starts for single-family homes reflect the six-month run of continuing improvements in market confidence among home builders.

US Housing Starts


Sep ’12

Aug ’12

Aug-Sep ’12

Sep ’11

Sep ’11 to  Sep ’12

US Housing Starts






* Seasonally adjusted & annualised

($1 = €0.77)

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

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