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ATLANTA-Construction of single-family and multifamily product, a closely-watched economic barometer, was in the positive column for Beazer Homes USA Inc.’s last quarter ended Sept. 30.

The locally based company’s preliminary unit net orders for the last three months totaled 2,340, up 17.4% from 1,994 in the comparable month last year.

Southeast orders totaled 856, up 29.7% from 660 at this time last year. In the west, 867 orders were up 1.6% from 853. Central states activity showed 285 orders versus 166 last year, up 71.7%. Mid-Atlantic orders totaled 332, up 5.4% from 315.

In September, however, only the Southeast and Central states continued the healthy pace. The company had 269 orders in the Southeast, compared to 194 last September, an increase of 38.7%. Central states orders totaled 83, up 66% from 50. Activity in the west was down 38.9% with 225 orders versus 368 in the same 2000 month. Mid-Atlantic activity showed a drop of 4% with 96 orders versus 100 last year.

Sanford Homes of Colorado, acquired by Beazer on Aug. 1, contributed five orders in September and 22 units for the three-month period.

For September, the total 673 orders were down 5.5% from 712 in September 2000. Beazer officials didn’t comment on the preliminary statistics in a prepared statement.

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