June Housing Starts Shoot Higher as Demand Remains Strong

Ivan Schwartz
July 19, 2017

The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new housing starts rebounded in June after a soft spring.

Housing starts in June rose 8.3% from May to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.215M vs. estimates of 1.155M. May starts were revised up to 1.122 million from just 1.09 million originally reported. Permits for new construction rose 7.4% from May's revised rate of 1.17m to 1.25m, beating expectations of 1.20m. Single-family starts fell by 2.9% year over year in May.

Nationwide's cheif economist David Berson is optimistic new home construction will remain on an upswing.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 6.4% increase for starts and a 2.6% rise for permits in June. For all of 2017, total starts should be around 1.25 million units, the highest level since 2007.

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Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to climb to a rate of 1.200 million.

The June report is solidly higher than the May report, even after upward adjustments to the May figures.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing an unexpected decline in homebuilder confidence in the month of July. Much like above, single-family (up from 779,000 to 811,000) and multifamily (up from 389,000 to 443,000) permitting was higher in this release. Single-family starts have jumped 10.3 percent over the past 12 months, up from 770,000 one year ago. Overall, new residential construction permits rose 5.1 percent since June 2016, up from 1,193,000 units past year.

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