Friday, August 16, 2013

Housing Starts Improved Modestly in July

New residential construction improved modestly in July, increasing 5.9% from the previous month. Housing starts are now running at an annual rate of 896,000, up from the previous month’s upwardly revised value of 846,000, but below May’s pace. Housing starts are 11% below the one-million yearly units seen in March, but 23% above year ago levels.

As has been the case throughout most of the recovery to date, July’s increase was driven by strong growth in multi-family construction. Multi-family construction surged 26% over the month. Single-family starts weakened, dropping 2.2% in July.

The details were positive as well, with increases in permit issuance and completions. Permit issuance rose 2.7%, reversing a two month decline. Multi-family issuance drove the rise, increasing 12.6% over the month while single-family permit issuance declined 1.9%. This is notable because it indicates that the important single-family sector is poised for strong gains. Completions rose 1.8% in July as well.

Read the Census report.

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