Multifamily weighs on housing starts

by Steve Randall19 Jun 2017
Housing starts were down 5.5% in May to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.09 million units.

The drop was largely due to lower numbers of multifamily developments begun in the month, the HUD and Commerce Dept. data reveals. This sector was down 9.7% compared to a 3.9% drop for single-family homes.

“After a strong start for single-family building this year, recent months have recorded softer readings,” said National Association of Home Builders’ Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, on a year-to-date basis, single-family starts are up 7.2% as builders add inventory to the market.”

Single and multifamily starts were up 1.3% in the West in May, down 9.2% in the Midwest and 8.8% in the South. They were unchanged in the Northeast.

Permits issued were also down, by 4.9% nationally to a SAAR of 1.17 million units. They were up 3.3% in the Northeast, but down 9.4% in the Midwest, 0.3% in the South and 13.1% in the West.

Housing completions were up 14.6% to a SAAR of 1.164 million units.

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