Housing starts posted a modest increase in August as a strong showing in new single-family home construction was countered by a decline in multi-family construction according to the latest data released by the Census Bureau.
Future home building looked to remain steady as only a minor dip in building permits was recorded between July and August.
Privately owned housing starts increased a modest 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 in August, up from a revised estimate of 883,000 in July. Housing starts were 19.0 percent higher than in August 2012 which had an estimated 749,000 seasonally adjusted annual starts.
Single-family housing starts in August were up from July with starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000, up 7.0 percent from a revised estimate of 587,000 starts in July and were 16.9 percent higher than in August of last year when an estimated 537,000 starts were reported.
Housing starts for multi-family dwellings fell by 9.4 percent from a revised rate of 278,000 starts in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 252,000 starts in August. Housing starts for multi-family dwellings were still 22.9 percent higher than a year ago when an estimated 205,000 starts were recorded.
On an unadjusted basis, housing starts declined by 1.5 percent falling from 82,400 starts in July to 81,200 starts in August.
Regionally, monthly housing starts declined in three of the four regions with the West posting the largest decline of 10.9 percent followed by the Northeast with a 12.0 percent decline. The Midwest posted the smallest decline of 3.3 percent while the South reported the only increase of 12.0 percent.
Compared to a year ago, all four of the regions posted increases in housing starts with the Northeast posting the largest increase of 34.7 percent followed by the West with a 20.0 percent gain. The South reported a year-over-year gain of 16.8 percent while the Midwest posted an increase of 14.8 percent over last year.
The number of building permits issued in August fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 918,000, down 3.8 percent from a revised estimate of 954,000 permits in July. Authorized building permits were 11.0 percent higher than the August 2012 estimate of 827,000.
Single-family building permit authorizations were 3.0 percent higher in August than July with 627,000 permits authorized in August compared to a revised 609,000 in July. Building permit authorizations for single-family homes were 20.6 percent higher than in August of last year which had an estimated 520,000 permits issued.
Multi-family dwelling permits declined for the third time in four months in August, falling to 268,000 authorizations from a revised total of 318,000 in July, a decrease of 15.7 percent. Authorizations for multi-family dwellings were 3.9 percent lower than in August of last year which had an estimated 279,000 authorizations.
Building permit authorizations declined in two of the four regions in August. In the South, authorizations fell by 10.0 percent followed by the West where authorizations declined by 3.9 percent. The Northeast saw permits rise by 10.6 percent while in the Midwest permits increased by 4.5 percent.
Year-over-year, building permit authorizations were higher in three of the four regions with the Northeast posting the largest increase of 52.4 percent, followed by the Midwest which posted a 25.8 percent increase and the West reported a gain of 17.1 percent. The South posted the only decline of 4.0 percent.
The number of homes that were completed during the month increased by 0.3 percent from July to August with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 769,000 completions reported in August compared to July’s revised estimate of 767,000 completions. Housing completions were 12.1 percent higher than in August of last year when an estimated 686,000 annual completions were reported.
Single-family completions in August were at an annual rate of 573,000 units, which was 0.5 percent higher than July’s revised rate of 570,000 and 15.8 percent above last year’s rate of 495,000 units. Multi-family completions in August were at a rate of 191,000 units, 1.1 percent higher than the rate of 189,000 units completed in July and 4.9 percent higher than the 182,000 completions in August of last year.
On an unadjusted basis, housing completions in 2013 have so far been 18.8 percent higher than in 2012.
Tags: housing starts, single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, building permits, housing completions
Reported by Chris Moore