Housing starts rise on multifamily uptick

by Ryan Smith22 Aug 2016
Housing starts were up in July, driven largely by an uptick in multifamily production, according to the National Association of Homebuilders.

Housing starts were up 2.1% nationally last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million units. That’s the highest annual rate since February, according to the NAHB. Multifamily housing was up 5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 441,000. Single-family production, meanwhile, edged up 0.5% to an annual rate of 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. “Meanwhile, single-family housing continues to hold firm.”

“Single-family starts, on a year-to-date basis, are up 10.6% and builders are cautiously optimistic,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the NAHB. “However, the permit trends indicate that supply-side headwinds, such as shortages of lots and labor, continue to affect the housing sector.”

On a regional basis, combined single-family starts were up 15.5% in the Northeast, 2.3% in the Midwest and 3.5% in the South. The West, meanwhile, posted a 5.9% loss. Overall permit issuance fell 0.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.15 million. Multifamily permits rose 6.3% to a rate of 441,000, while single-family permits were down 3.7% to a rate of 711,000, according to the NAHB.


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