Housing Production Holds Steady in August

Nationwide housing starts fell 0.8% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million units, according to newly released data from HUD and the Commerce Department.

Single-family production rose 1.6% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 851,000 after a downwardly revised July reading. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.9% above their level over the same period last year. Multifamily starts dropped 6.5% to 329,000 units after an upward July revision.

“This month’s report shows that single-family starts continue to move forward at a gradual, consistent pace,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The three-month average for single-family production has reached a post-recession high, but the months ahead may show volatility given that the building markets affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma represent about 14% of national production.”

“We are playing close attention to the communities affected by these hurricanes, and are helping them start on the rebuilding and restoration process,” said NAHB chair Granger MacDonald.

Regionally in August, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 22% in the Midwest and 4% in the West. Starts fell 7.9% in the South and 8.7% in the Northeast.

Overall permit issuance in August was up 5.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million units. Single-family permits edged down 1.5% to 800,000 units while multifamily permits rose 19.6% to 500,000.

Regionally, overall permits rose 15.3% in the West, 8.8% in the Midwest and 3.7% in the South. Permits fell 13% in the Northeast. For additional details, please read Dietz’ Eye on Housing blog post.