Building permits took a drop in October according to numbers from the government, which means less construction equipment may be rolling its way to construction sites.
According to the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of building permits decreased 4 percent during the month when compared to September. In all, building permits came in at an annual rate of 552,000 during October. Single-family permits also dropped, falling 0.2 percent to 452,000.
The number of units that started construction also saw a drop in October. Single-family construction decreased 6.8 percent to a rate of 476,000. Overall, housing starts declined to 529,000, a 10.6 percent drop when compared to September.
Though starts and permits fell, the number of homes completed did increase. For example, finished single-family homes were up by 10.7 percent, coming in 528,000. All privately-owned housing completions were up by 1.9 percent to come in at 740,000. However, that number is 29.9 percent below levels seen in October of 2008.
One of the reasons for the reduction may be the fact that the first-time homebuyers tax credit was set to expire in November. That also led to a builders feeling less confident about sales, a recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders showed.