July’s housing starts was a seasonally adjusted 1.21 million annual rate, a 2.1 percent increase over June, according to data from the Commerce Department and analysis from MarketWatch. The figure was the second-best of the recovery, but still below where the market was in the mid-2000s.
Housing starts are 5.6 percent higher compared to a year ago. Single-family starts increased 0.5 percent to a 770,000 annual pace.
Andrea Riquier of MarketWatch says that the demand for housing is so high that many buyers can’t afford even modest housing. “Many economists have wanted to see more single-family houses built, both because it signals more faith in a market of homes for purchase, and because the construction of such homes contributes more to economic activity,” she wrote.