|Nationwide housing starts rose 2.1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. This is the highest reading since February. Multifamily housing was up 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 441,000 units in July while single-family production edged up 0.5 percent to 770,000 units.
"New household formations are upping the demand for rental housing, which in turn is spurring the growth of multifamily production," said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. "Meanwhile, single-family housing continues to hold firm."
"Single-family starts, on a year-to-date basis, are up 10.6 percent and builders are cautiously optimistic about market conditions," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "However, the permit trends indicate that supply-side headwinds, such as shortages of lots and labor, continue to affect the housing sector."
Regionally in July, combined single- and multifamily starts increased in the Northeast, Midwest and South, with respective gains of 15.5 percent, 2.3 percent and 3.5 percent. The West registered a 5.9 percent loss.
Overall permit issuance inched down 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.15 million. Multifamily permits increased 6.3 percent to a rate of 441,000, while single-family permits fell 3.7 percent to 711,000.
Permit issuance increased 10.5 percent in the Midwest and 2.6 percent in the South. Meanwhile, the West and Northeast posted respective losses of 8 percent and 10.2 percent.