US housing starts jumped 12.3 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,364 thousand units in August 2019, the highest level since June 2007 and compared to market expectations of 1,250 thousand. It is the highest number since June 2007 likely boosted by lower mortgage rates.
Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment soared 32.8 percent to a rate of 445 thousand units in August; and single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, rose 4.4 percent to a rate of 919 thousand units, the highest level since January. Increases in housing starts were recorded in the South (14.9 percent to 711 thousand), Northeast (30.5 percent to 124 thousand) and Midwest (15.4 percent to 210 thousand), while starts in the West were flat at 319 thousand.
9/18/2019 12:53:13 PM
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped more than 130 basis points to an average of 3.56 percent, according to Freddie Mac. While the 30-Year Mortgage Rate backed by the Mortgage Bankers Association was recorded at 3.82 percent in the week ended September 6th, the lowest since October 2016.
Building permits climbed 7.7 percent to a rate of 1,419 thousand units in August, while markets had forecast a decline to 1,300 thousand. That was the highest level in permits since May 2007, boosted by a 13.3 percent jump in the volatile multi-family housing segment. In addition, single-family authorizations rose 4.5 percent to 866 thousand. Across regions, permits were higher in the South (11.0 percent to 748 thousand), Northeast (26.9 percent to 151 thousand) and Midwest (14.5 percent to 189 thousand), but declined in the West (-7.8 percent to 331 thousand).
Year-on-year, housing starts increased 6.6 percent while building permits advanced 12.0 percent.