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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Barbara Ruszel Economist
Tel: 902-424-1848Email:

November 17, 2017

US residential construction permits, a leading indicator of new construction, increased by 5.9 per cent in October 2017 compared to the revised September 2017 estimate, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,297,000 This is 0.9 per cent above the October 2016 estimate of 1,285,000. Compared to last month, permits for single unit structures were up 1.9 per cent, 2-4 units structures were up 20.0 per cent , and 5+ units structures increased 13.4 per cent. 

Through the first ten months of the year, unadjusted building permits were up 5.8 per cent in 2017 compared to the first ten months of 2016, with increased permits in single unit and 2-4 units, and decreased permits in five or more unit structures.

US housing starts in October 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,290,000 units. This is 13.7 per cent abovethe revised September 2017 estimate of 1,135,000 but is 2.9 per cent below the October 2016 estimate of 1,328,000.

Through the first ten months of the year, unadjusted housing starts were up 2.4 per cent in 2017 over 2016, with growth in structures with one unit and  two-to-four units and a decline in structures with five or more units.

US housing starts are an important indicator for Nova Scotia's wood exports. Though not a perfect predictor, US housing starts and the value of Nova Scotia's wood exports follow similar directions over the long-term.

Source: US Census Bureau New Residential Construction

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