The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said last month that privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,126,000. This is 3.0 percent below the revised July estimate of 1,161,000, but is 16.6 percent above the August 2014 rate of 966,000.
Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 739,000; this is 3.0 percent below the revised July figure of 762,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 381,000.
Combined single- and multifamily starts fell in three of the four regions in August. The Northeast, Midwest and West posted respective losses of 33.7 percent, 9.8 percent and 1.1 percent. The South registered a 7.1 percent gain.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,170,000. This is 3.5 percent above the revised July rate of 1,130,000 and is 12.5 percent above the August 2014 estimate of 1,040,000.
Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 699,000; this is 2.8 percent above the revised July figure of 680,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 440,000 in August.
Multifamily permits rose 4.7 percent to a rate of 471,000 while single-family permits increased 2.8 percent to 699,000.
Regionally, the Midwest, South and West posted respective permit gains of 2.9 percent, 2.4 percent and 9.6 percent. The Northeast fell 4.4 percent.
"Permit growth indicates that our members feel confident that consumers are returning to the market," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "However, builders are reporting concerns with lots and labor availability, which could have contributed to this month's production dip."
"A slight one-month decline is not unusual as the housing market moves forward at a slow and steady pace," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "However, encouraging permit data, year-over-year increases in single and multifamily production, and rising builder confidence all bode well for a continuing, gradual recovery throughout the rest of the year."