Nationwide housing starts rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000 units in July as multifamily construction rebounded from a dip in the previous month, according to figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, single-family construction recorded a modest decline from a rate that was upwardly revised for the previous month.
"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," noted Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.
Single-family housing starts declined 2.2 percent from an upwardly revised pace in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 591,000 units in July. Meanwhile, a 26 percent gain to a 305,000-unit pace on the multifamily side offset a similar dip in the previous month.
Regionally, combined housing starts activity posted solid gains of 40.2 percent in the Northeast, 25.4 percent in the Midwest, and 7.2 percent in the West, respectively, in July, while the South posted a 7-percent decline.
Issuance of building permits, which can be an indicator of future building activity, rose 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 943,000 units in July. Single-family permits dipped 1.9 percent to 613,000 units from a strong pace in the previous month, while multifamily permits gained 12.6 percent to 330,000 units.
Regionally, combined permit issuance increased across the board in July, with gains of 1 percent, 2.8 percent, 1.1 percent, and 7.1 percent in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West, respectively.