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Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,142,000, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau’s new residential construction statistics for August 2016. This is 5.8 percent (±9.7%)* below the revised July estimate of 1,212,000, but is 0.9 percent above the August 2015 rate of 1,132,000.

Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 722,000; this is 6.0 percent below the revised July figure of 768,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 403,000.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,139,000. This is 0.4 percent below the revised July rate of 1,144,000 and is 2.3 percent below the August 2015 estimate of 1,166,000.

Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 737,000; this is 3.7 percent (±3.0%) above the revised July figure of 711,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 370,000 in August.

Privately-owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,043,000. This is 3.4 percent below the revised July estimate of 1,080,000, but is 8.3 percent above the August 2015 rate of 963,000. Single-family housing completions in August were at a rate of 752,000; this is 0.3 percent below the revised July rate of 754,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 283,000.

“This construction data suggests we will continue to see low vacancies in rentals fueling higher rents and a limited supply of homes for sale in the months ahead,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “The good news is we are seeing an important shift in permits for single-family homes, which could signal more supply on the horizon.

“Multi-family construction permits are down 16 percent nationally on a year-to-date basis, and a whopping 61 percent in the Northeast so far this year, which has driven total home construction activity lower than last year,” Smoke says. “Permits for single-family homes are up 8 percent year-to-date, and we are finally seeing the pace of single family permits exceeding starts for the first time this year. When permits are higher than starts, future starts are likely to be higher.”

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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