With low interest rates and high interest in homes, the demand for single-family starts and permits rose almost 12% in June. Single-family starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 831,000 in June by Census/HUD, according to NAHB. In May, the seasonally adjusted rate for starts was 709,000. Permits for single-family homes so far this year are 3.4% higher than the first half of 2019. Although the year-over-year comparison puts June down 3.9% for single-family starts, the growth is much greater than previously predicted. This increase could signal higher gains for starts in the near future.
Looking back, it appears single-family starts bottomed out in April at a 679,000 annualized rate. This would mark a 34% decline from the peak starts pace in February. The June pace remains lower on a year-over-year basis (-3.9%) but is better than forecast a few months ago.
Single-family starts, on a year-to-date basis, are down just 1.3% relative to the first half of 2019. Thus far, single-family starts are down on a year-to-date basis 8% in the Northeast, down 2% in the South, flat in the Midwest, but are 2% higher in the West (led by the fast growing Mountain states).