Permits hit the million mark, starts data delayed
After a delay of several weeks in the aftermath of the government shutdown, the U.S. Census Bureau has finally released building permits data for September and October — both show strong growth.
However, an accurate count of housing starts will be further delayed until Dec 18.
"The lapse in federal funding affected the data collection schedule for the Survey of Construction, the source of data on new housing units started and completed," read the Census Bureau release. "Accurate data collection for September and October could not be completed in time for this release."
Of the data that was reported, the upward trend in authorized building permits suggests a healthy season for new residential construction. Privately owned housing units authorized by permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million, up 6.2% from September’s rate of 974,000, which is also well above August’s official housing starts figure of 891,000. October’s estimate also showed strong year-over-year growth of 13.9%.
Meanwhile, single-family authorizations in October came in at 620,000, 0.8% higher than that of September.
Housing starts data released in December will account for September, October and November.
Sears Holdings refutes Sears Canada report
Sears Holdings issued a statement on Monday, discounting the New York Post’s assertion that a sale of Sears Canada was in the works.
"This morning’s report concerning Sears Canada by the New York Post contains false statements regarding Sears Holdings and its intentions for Sears Canada," read the statement. "In particular, it is false to claim that Mr. Lampert, the CEO of Sears Holdings, is interviewing or otherwise is in talks with investment bankers about Sears Holdings’ interest in Sears Canada. Similarly, the claim that Mr. Lampert is conducting a ‘beauty contest’ also is false."
"Sears Holdings reiterates its October 29, 2013, statement that Sears Holdings will work with the board and management of Sears Canada with a goal of increasing the value of our 51% interest and realizing significant cash proceeds to support our transformation and to create value for our shareholders," the statement concluded.
According to inside sources who allegedly spoke to the New York Post, CEO Edward Lampert has been in talks with multiple banks about a potential sale of the Sears Canada business, though the search for prospective buyers has been unsuccessful.
Recent moves by the retailer, including the closing of its Toronto flagship store and several other profitable locations, confirms this suspicion for some in the industry.