Housing starts slip in September
As extreme weather and hurricanes slowed construction in the South, housing starts slipped in September. Starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,127,000, down 4.7% from the previous month, according to data released Wednesday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The single-family story was also heading in the wrong direction – down 4.6% to a rate of 829,000. Building
The year-over-year story was positive – total housing starts increased 6.1% compared to September 2016, when the rate was 1,062,000.
Measures of building permits were more negative than positive. Total permits in September came in at a rate of 1,215,000, down 4.5% from August and down 4.3% from September 2016. Single-family authorizations were up 2.4% to a rate of 219,000.
On a regional basis, Census revealed the following data about September starts:
• South: 1-unit down 15.3% compared to August 2017;
• Midwest: total starts down 20.2% compared to August 2017;
• West: 1-unit up 26.1% compared to September 2016;
• Northeast: 1-unit up 17.7% compared to September 2016.
For the full Census report, click here.
Duracell’s PowerForward team hits Puerto Rico
Duracell PowerForward, a free-battery relief program, is deploying to Puerto Rico to distribute more than $1 million worth of batteries. The Puerto Rico mission marks the program’s largest deployment since the initiative began in 2011.
Duracell VP of Marketing Ramon Velutini said the company has been deeply moved by the resilience of those in Puerto Rico, still reeling from the damage of Hurricane Maria. “Trusted power is absolutely critical following widespread power outages caused by storms like Hurricane Maria, and we will be offering free Duracell batteries to help residents stay safe and connect with their loved ones by powering mobile devices, radios and flashlights, and providing trusted power for critical medical devices like dialysis machines, hearing aids and ventilators.”
At the latest measure, 89% of the island of Puerto Rico is still without power according to Status.pr. Duracell is working closely with the Red Cross and the office of the First Lady of Puerto Rico to determine the most in-need locations on the island. The Red Cross organization was on the ground to help load over 30 tons, or 60,000 pounds, for the Duracell PowerForward deployment began in San Juan on Oct. 12.