Housing Starts & Permits Rise

According to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau,
housing starts nationwide rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 896,000 units in July. Multifamily construction rebounded from a dip in the
previous month, while single-family construction recorded a modest decline from
a rate that was upwardly revised for the previous month.

Single-family housing starts showed a month-over-month decline of 2.2 percent
in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 591,000 units falling from an
upwardly revised figure in June. The multifamily side of the market jumped a
substantial 26 percent to a 305,000-unit pace on a seasonally adjusted annual
basis; this was after having fallen by a similar amount in the previous month.
HUD/Census Bureau data shows that the issuance of building permits also rose
2.7 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 943,000 units. Building
permits are a forward-looking indicator in that they are projecting future building
activity. Again multifamily units led the way with an increase of 12.6 percent
representing 330,000 units. Single-family permits dipped slightly by 1.9 percent
to 613,000 units from a strong pace in the previous month.

By region, combined housing start activity posted strong gains of 40.2 percent in
the Northeast, 25.4 percent in the Midwest and 7.2 percent in the West in July,
while the South posted a decline of 7 percent.

The issuance of housing permits increased in every geographic region during the
month of July, with gains of 1.0 percent in the Northeast, 2.8 percent for the
Midwest, 1.1 percent in the South and 7.1 percent in the West.

Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB),
said, “Builders are making every effort to keep up with the rising demand for new
homes and apartments, and construction in both sectors is running well ahead of
the pace we saw at this time last year. However, ongoing issues with accessing
credit and limited supplies of finished lots and labor are making it tough to do
that, particularly for single-family builders.”