Single family starts were up +3.4% year-over-year, and multi-family starts were up +13.7% YoY.
Much of the strength for August starts data was in the volatile multi-family sector, still – overall – this was a strong report.
In what more than a few analysts are calling “the peak before the crash”, total housing starts in the US posted a +12% increase in August (1.364 million units) compared to an upwardly revised July estimate of 1.215 million units, according to the joint data release Wednesday from the Census Bureau and HUD.
Relative to August 2018, total starts are +6.6% above the annual pace of 1.279 million units. Single-family production in August posted a monthly increase of 4.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 919,000. Single-family starts in July were revised up to 880,000 units.
On a year-to-date basis, single-family starts are -2.7% lower as of August relative to the first eight months of 2018.
Multifamily starts (2+ unit production) registered an increase of +33% in August to a 445,000 annual rate compared to July.
Single-family permits, a useful indicator of future construction activity, rose +4.5% in August (866,000 units) compared to July but have registered a -4.1% loss thus far in 2019 compared to last year.
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,419,000. This is +7.7% above the revised July rate of 1,317,000 and is +12% above the August 2018 rate of 1,267,000. Single‐family authorizations in August were at a rate of 866,000; this is +4.5% above the revised July figure of 829,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 509,000 in August.