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Home-building had a modest gain in August, with overall starts rising 9.2 percent, and single-family starts rising 1.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Commerce Department. Housing starts totaled 1.28 million, with 392,000 multifamily (five or units or more) starts and 873,000 single-family starts.

However, approvals for builds fell 5.7 percent to 1.22 million permits, with approvals for single-family starts falling 6.1 percent to 820,000. Approvals for multifamily starts came in at 370,000.

Completions rose 2.5 percent last month to 1.21 million.

“Builders remain largely confident because the economy is solid and demographics point to continued demand,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “However, affordability continues to be a concern for both builders and buyers.”

“Although we saw an increase in starts in August, we are likely to see softening in the market in the months ahead,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Affordability is a particular concern because of home price gains, due in part to the high regulatory burden on new home construction. Increasing costs for building materials prompted partially by recently imposed tariffs on a wide range of products are also a concern. Moreover, interest rates are continuing their gradual upward climb.”

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