Single-Family Housing Continues Growth in August
Single-family starts showed continued growth in August but overall housing production fell 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million units due to a double-digit percentage decline in multifamily production, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. The pace of single-family starts in August was the highest production rate since February.
The August reading of 1.42 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts increased 4.1 percent to a 1.02 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, decreased 22.7 percent to a 395,000 pace.
"Consistent with surging builder confidence, single-family starts rose in August to meet rising buyer traffic," says Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. "Builders continue to face concerns in terms of rising lumber prices and supply chain shortages of other building materials."
"Total housing starts were down in August on a decline for multifamily construction, with multifamily 5+ unit permits now down 8.3 percent on a year-to-date basis," says Robert Dietz, NAHB chief economist. "But low interest rates and solid demand are spurring single-family construction growth, which makes up the bulk of the housing market. Single-family permits continue to rise as well, and are now up almost 7 percent on a year-to-date basis."
Overall permits decreased 0.9 percent to a 1.47 million unit annualized rate in August. Single-family permits increased 6.0 percent to a 1.04 million unit rate. Multifamily permits decreased 14.2 percent to a 434,000 pace.