Housing Starts Surge 10.2 Percent
At the close of summer, construction reignited significantly, according to the Commerce Department, with August builds netting 1.36 million starts, up 10.2 percent month-over-month and 6.6 percent year-over-year. Of August's 1.36 million starts, approximately 424,000 were in the multifamily sector, and 919,000 in the single-family space.
Approvals for builds jumped, as well, 7.7 percent from July and 12 percent year-over-year, at 1.42 million permits. Approvals in the single-family space totaled 866,000, 4.5 percent higher than in July, and approvals for multifamily starts totaled 509,000.
Additionally, completions grew to 1.29 million, an increase of 2.4 percent from July and 5 percent year-over-year. In the single-family space, completions rose to 945,000, up 3.7 percent from July. Completions on multifamily starts totaled 338,000.
"This solid report is in line with our latest survey on builder sentiment," said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a statement. "However, builders continue to wrestle with affordability concerns stemming from excessive regulations and other supply-side challenges."
"These new numbers demonstrate that builder confidence—which recently reached an annual high—is translating into action, said Matthew Speakman, economist at Zillow, in a statement. "New home-building has struggled to break out this year, but new construction jobs and now this healthy boost in housing starts indicate that home-building is not going to fall off a cliff. It's not flashy, but this sign of resilience is welcome news for a housing market which is still struggling to grasp some momentum."