Single-Family Housing Starts Jump 7 Percent in August

by Peter Thomas Ricci

August was a solid month for single-family home construction, according to the latest analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Single-family housing starts were at a six-month high in August according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau, rising 7.0 percent from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 587,000.

That was a marked difference from the month before, when the homebuilding industry was largely carried by the surging, if somewhat erratic, multifamily homes sector.

Strong Single-Family Homebuilding in August

Other notable statistics from the Census Bureau’s report included:

  • In addition to housing starts, the single-family homebuilding sector was also positive in other areas.
  • Single-family authorizations, which are contracts for new single-family homes, were up 3.0 percent from July to a rate of 627,000, while single-family completions rose 0.5 percent to a rate of 573,000.
  • Also, it’s worth noting how dramatic the year-over-year increases are for single-family home construction. For single-family, housing starts are up 9.7 percent year-over-year, permits are up 22.5 percent and completions are up 17.2 percent.
  • And again, though multifamily construction led the way in July, it disappointed in August; multifamily permits were down 11.6 percent, while starts and completions fell by 13.1 and 2.0 percent, respectively.

Broader Home Construction Gains

On the strength of the single-family market, the broader home construction market also posted positive gains in August.

Overall building permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 918,000, an 11.0 percent uptick from August 2012; similarly, housing starts were up 0.9 percent from July and 19.0 percent from a year ago to a rate of 749,000, and completions were up 0.3 percent monthly and 12.1 percent yearly to a rate of 767,000.

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