Figures from the US Census Bureau and the HUD show that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of nationwide housing starts rose to 896,000 units in July. Multifamily construction increased compared to the previous month, while single-family construction declined slightly compared to June.
According to the article in RISMedia, builders are trying to keep pace with demand for new apartments and homes, and the pace of construction is well above that recorded a year ago. However new housing starts are being constrained due to limited supplies of lots, problems with accessing credit, and labor problems. This is something that is particularly affecting single-family builders.
The latest figures are seen as being in line with expectations, and it's predicted that housing starts and permits activity will continue to strengthen for the rest of the year. Apparently the increase in multifamily housing starts was expected, while the slight decline in single-family homes is thought to be due to particularly wet weather in the South and West. In July single-family housing starts fell by 2.2% with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 591,000 units. However multifamily homes saw a 26% increase to reach 305,000 units.
Regionally, the number of new housing starts increased by 40.2% in the North East, by 25.4% in the Midwest, and by 7.2% in the West. However the South saw a decline of 7%. The number of building permits issued is often regarded as being an indication of future activity and this increased by 2.7% to reach 943,000 units last month. The number of single-family permits decreased by 1.9% to 613,000 units, but figures had been particularly strong the previous month. The number of new multifamily permits issued increased by 12.6% to reach 330,000 units. The number of permits issued regionally increased across the board last month, and the Northeast saw gains of 1%, the Midwest gains of 2.8%, the South gains of 1.1%, and the West saw gains of 7.1%.