Aug 29, 2017
Rosy housing start numbers that were once thought to be welcome news for a market suffering from a crippling lack of inventory appear to have stalled coming into mid-summer.
Housingwire.com reports that the seasonally adjusted figure fell to 1.16 million last month, a decline of nearly five percent from June’s more optimistic levels. It represented an even steeper loss when contrasted against July 2016 when the rate was at 1.22 million.
The numbers, fresh off the presses from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, also showed falloffs against June figures in housing units authorized by building permits as well as completions. However, those statistics at least represented improvements over the rates for the same time last year.
It had been thought that homebuyers squeezed by higher prices due to a lack of available homes on the market might find some relief from an easing of the housing supply through new construction but the July report has somewhat dampened those hopes.
One bright spot is that single-family housing starts were only off by half a point settling at 856,000. The shrinkage in the overall figure was primarily from multifamily developments.