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Housing Starts Dip in July

New construction of homes dipped in July following a surge in June, according to a joint report released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of the Census.

Overall permits to build privately-owned housing units decreased to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 560,000 - down 1.8% from the revised rate of 560,000 in June, and down 39.4% from the July 2008 estimate of 924,000. Permits for single-family homes gained 5.8% above the revised June figure of 433,000.

Housing starts fell to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 581,000, down 1% from a revised 587,000 in June and down 37.7% from the July 2008 rate of 933,000, the Commerce Department said. Single-family housing starts increased 1.7% in July to an annual rate of 490,000.

Privately-owned housing completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 802,000. This is .9% below the revised June estimate of 809,000 and is 26.4% below the July 2008 rate of 1,089,000. Single-family housing completions in July were at a rate of 491,000; this is 4.1% below the revised June figure of 512,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 297,000.

Despite the overall decrease, total permits have risen 12.4% from their low in April, after plummeting a total of 78.% between September 2005 and April 2009. Additionally, total starts have increased 21.3%, after falling 78.9% from their peak in January 2006 to their low in April 2009.

Regionally, the Midwest led the country with an increase in the rate of new homes being constructed, posting a 12.9% gain from June. The most severe pullback was in the Northeast, with housing starts down 16.3%. Starts dipped 1.4% in the South and 1.6% in the West.

“Monthly data for housing activity are volatile but today’s nominal decline stands as a reminder that the economy is still fragile,” U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank said. “Looking at the big picture, we are confident that we’ve created the stability necessary to turn things around. As we double Recovery Act spending in the second half of the year, and with every new project we start, we are one step closer to getting there.”

U.S. Department of Commerce - Bureau of the Census
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Thursday, 09 July 2020

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