Nationwide housing starts rose 14.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000 units in June, according to the latest residential construction report from the U.S. Commerce Department. This was the highest pace of housing production since the beginning of the year, and was attributable to significant gains registered in both the single-family and multi-family segments, as well as every region of the country.
"Today's numbers are an encouraging sign that builders are responding to improving consumer interest in new homes and apartments by gradually replenishing their extremely thin inventories in places where demand is evident," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. "That said, the lack of access to construction credit remains an impediment to starting new projects and getting building crews back to work in markets that are improving."
Single-family housing starts posted a 9.4% gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 453,000 units in June, their best pace since November of 2010. Meanwhile, multi-family starts, which tend to display greater volatility on a month-to-month basis, gained a dramatic 30.4% to a rate of 176,000 units -- their best pace since January.
"The latest housing production figures show broad-based gains on both the single-family side and in multi-family apartment construction, where we know that demand has been increasing due to the influx of renters in the market," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "Going forward, we expect to see a gradual upward trend in new-home production through the end of this year as consumers begin taking advantage of the buyers' market, though not without some bumps along the way."