Housing starts in July reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.2 million, a 0.2% increase compared to the revised June estimate of slightly over 1.2 million and a 10.8% increase compared to the July 2014 rate of about 1.1 million.
Starts of single-family homes in July were at a rate of about 782,000 units, an increase of 12.8% compared to the revised June figure of 693,000 units. Starts of multifamily units were at a rate of about 413,000 units, a decrease of about 17.1% compared to the 498,000 units started in June, according to estimates released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Housing permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.1 million, a decrease of 16.3% compared to the revised June rate of about 1.3 million but a 7.5% increase compared to the July 2014 estimate of about 1 million.
Permits for single-family homes in July were at a rate of about 679,000 units, a decrease of 1.9% compared to 692,000 in June. Permits for multifamily units were at a rate of about 412,000, down 32.6% from about 611,000 in June.
About 987,000 homes were completed during the 12 months ended July 31 – an increase of 2.4% compared to the revised June estimate of 964,000 and 14.6% above the July 2014 rate of 861,000.
About 627,000 single-family homes were completed during the 12 months ended July 31 – a decrease of 1.4% compared to the revised June rate of 636,000. About 350,000 multifamily units were completed during the same time period – an increase of 9.7% compared to the approximately 319,000 units completed in June.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), single-family production in July reached the highest level since October 2007.
‘Our builders are reporting more confidence in the market and are stepping up production of single-family homes as a result,’ says Tom Woods, chairman of the NAHB, in a statement. ‘However, builders are still reporting problems accessing land and labor.’
‘This month's drop in the more volatile multifamily side is a return to trend after an unusually high June,’ adds David Crowe, chief economist for NAHB. ‘While multifamily production has fully recovered from the downturn, single-family starts are improving at a slow and sometimes intermittent rate as consumer confidence gradually rebounds. Continued job and economic growth will keep single-family housing moving forward.’
Housing starts increased 20.1% in the Midwest and 7.7% in the South. However, they decreased 27.5% in the Northeast and 3.1% in the West.
Meanwhile, permit activity decreased 60.2% in the Northeast, 9.9% in the West, 4.6% in the Midwest and 1.7% in the South.