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July Housing Starts Fall 9.6%

Single-family starts decreased 10.1% to the lowest reading since June 2020. Multifamily also fell (8.6%) but ongoing construction is up 24.8% year-to-year for 5-plus units.

WASHINGTON – Overall housing starts fell 9.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.45 million units in July, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The July reading of 1.45 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within that overall number, single-family starts decreased 10.1% to a 916,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate and are down 2.1% year-to-year. It’s the lowest reading for single-family home building since the first months of the pandemic lockdowns (June 2020).

The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, decreased 8.6% an annualized 530,000 pace.

“A housing recession is underway with builder sentiment falling for eight consecutive months while the pace of single-family home building has declined for the last five months,” says National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, multifamily construction remains very strong given the solid demand for rental housing. The number of multifamily 5+ units currently under construction is up 24.8% year-over-year.”

On a regional and year-to-date basis, combined single-family and multifamily starts are 10.7% higher in the Northeast, 0.4% lower in the Midwest, 6.5% higher in the South and 2.2% lower in the West.

Overall permits decreased 1.3% to a 1.67 million unit annualized rate in July. Single-family permits decreased 4.3% to a 928,000 unit rate and are down 5.9% on a year-to-date basis. Multifamily permits increased 2.8% to an annualized 746,000 pace.

Looking at regional permit data on a year-to-date basis, permits are 1.9% lower in the Northeast, 1.9% higher in the Midwest, 2.6% higher in the South and 0.2% higher in the West.

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