The pace of the nation’s housing starts turned in a positive direction in July, although the figure landed well below the million mark reached in March.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Friday morning shows housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000. That’s up 5.9% from the upwardly revised estimate of 846,000 in June.
However, single-family starts -- the bread and butter of independent LBM dealers -- declined 2.2% to a rate of 591,000. That’s the lowest rate since September 2012, when the rate was also 591,000.
Compared with July 2012, single-family starts were up 15.4%.
Single-family starts showed regional month-to-month declines of 9.8% in the West and 4.6% in the South.
The total housing starts figure was somewhat disappointing, as various polls had expectations for a pace of 900,000 in July.
Building permits increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 943,000, up 2.7%. Compared with a year ago, permits are up 12.4%.
source: U.S. Census Bureau