US home building ticked up in July thanks to a surge in construction of single-family homes. US housing starts rose 0.2 per cent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million last month, the highest since October 2007, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That is the third time in four months the figures reached a new high since the recession began.
Housing Starts US, July
Starts on single-family units jumped 12.8 per cent to their highest level since December 2007. Multifamily units, including apartments and condominiums, fell 17 per cent.
New applications for building permits declined 16.3 per cent to 1.1 million.
Tuesday’s report showed new-home construction rose 12.3 per cent in June from the prior month, compared with an initially reported 9.8 per cent jump.
The pickup in June was driven entirely by construction of multifamily housing units. That was due in part to a surge in activity in New York City just before tax incentives for multifamily developments were scheduled to expire. Thus, many economists expected new applications for permits would plunge in July.
Construction levels for new homes remain historically low, though there are continued signs of growing underlying demand. Starts were 10.1 per cent higher in July than a year ago, and permits were up 7.5 per cent.
Tuesday’s report showed housing starts climbed in the Midwest and South and fell in the Northeast and West.