Single-family Starts Post Increase in July

Window + Door
August 20, 2019

Total housing starts fell 4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million units from a downwardly revised reading in June, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department.

The July reading of 1.19 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 1.3 percent to 876,000 units. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, fell 16.2 percent to a 315,000 pace.

"Despite housing affordability headwinds, builders remain confident about the market and this is reflected in recent modest gains in single-family starts," says Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

"Permits bottomed out in April and single-family starts hit their low point in May, and now we are starting to see the gradual improvement in the market that we've been forecasting," says Robert Dietz, NAHB chief economist.

Overall permits, which are a harbinger of future housing production, increased 8.4 percent to a 1.34 million unit annualized rate in July. Single-family permits edged 1.8 percent higher to a 838,000 rate while multifamily permits jumped 21.8 percent to a 498,000 pace.