Housing figures mixed in July
August 16, 2012
As has frequently been the case in recent months, the latest signals are mixed for residential construction, but compared to last year a recovery clearly is taking place. But the real strength may be in construction of apartment buildings and other multi-family structures.
Permits authorized for future construction of privately-owned housing units in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 812,000 — 6.8% above the revised June rate and 29.5% above July 2011, according to the preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Meanwhile, privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000 — 1.1% below the revised June estimate but 21.5% above July 2011.
In both permits and starts, single-family homes were a drag on the July figures relative to the stronger figures for multi-family dwellings. Permits authorized for those structures were up 4.5% over June. And starts of single-family homes fell 6.5% from June.
Permits were up in the West, Northeast and South but down in the Midwest compared to June. Compared to July 2011, permits were up strongly in all regions — especially in the West and Northeast, where permits soared by 53.8% and 43.8%, respectively. Housing starts showed the reverse month-to-month trend with starts up in the Midwest but down in all other regions. Starts were sharply higher in all regions compared to July 2011 except the Northwest, where housing starts were down 10.5%.
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