U.S. housing starts fall 4.8% in July

National Association of Home Builders
August 16, 2017
By National Association of Home Builders
Aug. 16, 2017 - Nationwide housing starts fell 4.8 per cent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family production slipped 0.5 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 856,000 after a strong, upwardly revised June reading. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.6 per cent above their level over the same period last year. Multifamily starts dropped 15.3 per cent to 299,000 units.

"The overall strengthening of the single-family sector is consistent with solid builder confidence in the market," said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. "The sector should continue to firm as the job market and economy grow and more consumers enter the housing market."

"New-home production numbers this month are in line with our forecast for a slow and steady recovery of the housing market," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "We saw multifamily production peak in 2015, and this sector should continue to level off as demand remains solid."

Regionally in July, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 0.6 per cent in the South, and fell 1.6 per cent in the West, 15.2 per cent in the Midwest and 15.7 per cent in the Northeast.

Overall permit issuance in July was down 4.1 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units. Single-family permits held steady at 811,000 units while multifamily permits fell 11.2 per cent to 412,000.

Regionally, overall permits rose 19.2 per cent in the Northeast. Permits fell 1.4 per cent in the South, 7.9 per cent in the West, and 17.4 per cent in the Midwest.

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