“[This] is evidenced by this week’s survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) showing yet another decline in homebuilder confidence and the lowest foot traffic of prospective buyers since 2012, when excluding the initial COVID shock,” said Duncan.

With homebuilder confidence down, Duncan added that October’s 3.6% decline in single-family building permits is “hardly surprising.”

“We also know from previous reports that builders have a growing inventory of completed new homes for sale, suggesting they will likely pull back on future projects until they can move their completed inventory,” he said.

Housing units authorized by building permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million in October, according to the Census Bureau, falling 2.4% below September and 10.1% below October 2021. Single-family permits slid down to a rate of 839,000 from the revised September figure of 870,000.

Compared to single-family, the declines in multifamily construction were modest. The Census Bureau reported multifamily starts were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 556,000 in October. This is 0.5% below September and 17.3% above October 2021. Meanwhile, October’s multifamily permits were at a rate of 687,000, down 0.7% from September and 31.5% over 2021.