Housing starts slip in June
Building permits slide to a two-year low.
Housing starts in June slipped 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.253 million from the revised May estimate of 1.265 million, according to the latest monthly residential construction report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Starts are 6.2% higher above the June 2018 rate of 1.18 million, however.
Single-family starts in June rose 3.5% to 847,000 from the May revised rate of 818,000.
“The monthly pick up from May to June in single-family starts is in line with the slight rise in our latest builder confidence survey, as demand remains solid due to a healthy job market,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.
The latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released on July 16, showed builder confidence rising sightly in July.
But building permits in June declined 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.22 million from the revised May rate of 1.299 million. Permits are also 6.6% below the June 2018 rate of 1.306 million. The latest permits report is the lowest since May 2017.
Single‐family permits in June were at a rate of 813,000, which is 0.4% above the revised May figure of 810,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 360,000 in June.
By region, total housing starts climbed 31.3% in the Northeast and 27.1% in the Midwest on a seasonally adjusted rate. Single-family starts fell 6.1% in the Northeast and rose 8% in the Midwest.
Total starts fell 9.2% in the South and dropped 4.9% in the West. Single-family starts grew 1.1% in the South and 9.8% in the West, however.
Total permits for June in the Northeast increased 21.9% as single-family permits were up 6.1%. In the Midwest, total permits decreased 0.6% but single-family permits increased 4.5%.
Permits in the South dropped 10.4% as single-family permits declined 1.7%. In the West, permits are down 7.9% but single-family permits edged upward by 1.6%.
“The relatively flat housing starts data in June is due to a decline in multifamily production, which still remains somewhat elevated due to affordability concerns in the for-sale market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The Census data show that the only region showing single-family construction gains for the first half of 2019 is the South, where housing is generally more affordable relative to incomes.”
The full residential construction report for July 2019 can be read here.
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