New housing starts dropped 5.8% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million units, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Both single-family and multifamily housing starts were down for the month. Single-family new construction dropped 6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 722,000 units and the multifamily sector was down 5.4% to 420,000 units.
Most areas of the nation saw small improvements in housing starts with the Northeast, Midwest and West posted modest gains of 7.6%, 5.6% and 1.8%. The South saw a decline of 14.8%.
In August, single-family permits were up 3.7% to a rate of 737,000 and multifamily permits fell 7.2% to 402,000.
The Northeast saw a 4.2% gain and the Midwest and West was up by 0.7 percent from the previous month. The South posted 3.4% decline.
The chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Ed Brady issued this statement:
“After two months of gains, the housing market gave back a bit in August. However, with builders reporting low inventory levels and rising confidence, we expect more consumers will return to the market in the months ahead.”
NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz had said:
“The August reading represents a one-month blip in what has been a long-term, gradual recovery. On a year-over-year basis, single-family starts are up 9 percent while multifamily construction continues to level off at a solid level as that sector seeks to find a balance between supply and demand.”