US Housing Starts Fall More than Expected


Housing starts in the United States shrank 5.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1142 thousand in August from July of 2016, after rising a downwardly revised 1.4 percent in the previous period. Figures came much worse than market expectations of a 1.7 percent decline, reaching the lowest in three months. Permits for future construction fell 0.4 percent to 1139 thousand.

Starts declined 14.8 percent to 543 thousand in the South but increased in the West (+1.8 percent to 287 thousand), the Midwest (+5.6 percent to 171 thousand) and in the Northeast (+7.6 percent to 141 thousand).

Groundbreaking on single-family homes, the largest segment of the market, declined 6 percent to an annualized rate of 722,000, reaching the lowest since October. Falls were recorded in the South (-13.1 percent to 370 thousand) and in the Northeast (-13.8 percent to 50 thousand) while single-family starts increased in the West (+6.3 percent to 186 thousand) and the Midwest (+6.4 percent to 116 thousand). Housing starts for the volatile multi-family segment slumped 6.9 percent to 403 thousand, also the lowest in three months. 

For building permits, the South recorded the only decrease (-3.4 percent to 567 thousand) while permits rose in the West (0.7 percent to 272 thousand), the Midwest (+4.2 percent to 197 thousand) and the Northeast (+5.1 percent to 103 thousand). Multi-family permits were down 8.4 percent to 370 thousand while single-family rose 3.7 percent to 737 thousand. 

Year-on-year, housing starts rose 0.9 percent while building permits went down 2.3 percent. 

US Housing Starts Fall More than Expected


U.S. Census Bureau | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
9/20/2016 1:05:44 PM