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Single-family home construction rate drops in June

by Kyle Scheuring

Construction activity for single-family homes declined in June, according to the latest monthly report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Single-family home starts in June 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 858,000, 9.1 percent lower than the estimated rate from May 2018. Privately-owned housing start figures also saw a significant dip, with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of only 1,173,000, 12.3 percent below estimates. Compared to June 2017, privately-owned housing starts were down 4.2 percent, but as Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com explained, this figure’s low confidence interval meant housing starts finished the month essentially unchanged year-over-year.

“The U.S. housing market is in desperate need of new construction, and today’s release was a bit of a setback,” Hale said. “The market has a long way to go to get back to a normal level of 1.2 million single-family starts. If starts grow like they’ve grown in the last quarter, it’s going to take until March 2022 to get back to average starts at that level.”

Completions for single-family homes in June 2018 were also down from the estimates made last May. With a seasonally adjusted figure of 862,000, completions were down 2.3 percent from the estimated 882,000.

Construction rate declines may be a result of rising land, labor, and material costs, with lumber alone adding an estimated $9,000 to the price of a new single-family home. According to realtor.com, listing prices subsequently rose 9 percent year-over-year in June, setting a new record of $299,000.

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