Home builders slow down construction in July

After rebounding in June, housing starts sank once more in July, according to the latest joint report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Privately-owned housing starts dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million in July, down 4.8% from June’s 1.18 million and 5.6% from 1.22 million in July last year, the report showed.

However, this drop was lead primarily by a drop in multifamily construction. Single-family housing starts dropped just 0.5% from 860,000 starts in June to July’s 856,000 starts.

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(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, HUD)

And privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits also decreased, falling 4.1% from June’s rate of 1.28 million to 1.22 million in July, the report showed. But this is still up 4.1% from 1.18 million in July 2016.

Of these, single-family authorizations remained unchanged from June to July at 811,000 building permits.

Privately owned housing completions decreased to a seasonally adjusted 1.18 million in July. This is down 6.2% from June’s 1.25 million, but up 8.2% from last year’s 1.09 million. Single-family housing completions decreased just 1.6% from June’s 827,000 completions to 814,000 completions in July.

This decrease in housing starts is not welcome news to the housing market, which continues to struggle with low levels of inventory and rising home prices.