Housing Starts Dip in August

Single-family housing completions came in at a rate of 724,000 in August, down 13.3% (±14.7%)* from the revised July rate of 835,000.

Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 851,000, which 1.6 percent above the revised July figure of 838,000, according to new data from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. July's sales pace was revised up to 1.19 million units from the previously reported 1.16 million units.

Single-family housing permits were at a rate of 811,000, a 1.5 percent month-over-month increase from July's revised rate of 812,000. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.9 per cent above their level over the same period last year.

Permits for multifamily homes were at a rate of about 464,000 in August, an increase of 22.8% compared with July and an increase of 10.2% compared with August 2016.

Housing starts dipped in August, due primarily to the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which struck the greater Houston, Texas, area for several days starting on Aug. 25. "As new construction continues to increase, home shoppers will eventually see more options and have a bit more time to make purchasing decisions". August privately-owned housing permits were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,300,000 - a 5.7 percent month-over-month increase from July, and an 8.3 percent year-over-year increase from the August 2016 estimate of 1,200,000.

New residential construction in the USA unexpectedly decreased in the month of August, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday. The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD collect the data from the Building Permits Survey and from the Survey of Construction, which is partially funded by HUD. Economists had expected housing starts to jump by 1.7%.

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