According to estimates from the US Housing and Urban Development and the US Commerce Department, total housing starts in the US were down -4% in July, but that decline was concentrated in the multifamily sector as forward-looking rental demand softened on gains for for-sale housing affordability.
Multifamily starts (2+ unit production) were off -16% in July, while 5+ unit production is down -2.3% on a year-to-date basis.
However, 5+ unit multifamily permits posted a large gain in July, rising +25% to a 453,000 annualized rate and coming in at +1% gain for the year thus far.
Single-family housing starts in the US, meanwhile, expanded to an 876,000 pace in July, a +1.3% gain over the revised June estimate.
However, single-family starts remain -3.3% lower a on a year-to-date basis due to slower months earlier in 2019.
Recent construction dynamics are reflected in the current estimates of housing units under production, said the US National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing August 16.
As of July 2019, there were 517,000 single-family homes under construction. This is -1.3% lower than July 2018, and it is down from the 545,00 peak count from January 2019. Similarly, there are currently 617,000 apartments under construction, which is more than +3% higher than a year ago and down from the peak count of 623,000 in February 2017.
This is responsible for a slight decline in housing’s share of GDP, says NAHB.
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in the US for July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,336,000.
This is +8.4 percent above the revised June rate of 1,232,000 and is +1.5 percent above the July 2018 rate of 1,316,000.
Single‐family authorizations in July were at a rate of 838,000; this is +1.8 percent above the revised June figure of 823,000.
Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 453,000 in July.