Housing Starts and Completions Continue their Decline

Today the Department of Urban Housing and Development, in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau, released its August 2011 residential construction report. While more building permits were authorized in August than in July, housing starts and completions both declined last month.

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Housing Starts Declined

Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000. This is 5.0 percent (±10.6%)  below the revised July estimate of 601,000 and is 5.8 percent (±12.0%)* below the August 2010 rate of 606,000.

Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 417,000; this is 1.4 percent (±10.3%)* below the revised July figure of 423,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 148,000.

Building Permits Rose Over July

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 620,000. This is 3.2 percent (±1.0%) above the revised July rate of 601,000 and is 7.8 percent (±1.4%) above the August 2010 estimate of 575,000.

Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 413,000; this is 2.5 percent (±0.9%) above the revised July figure of 403,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 178,000 in August.

Housing Completions Fell Short

Privately-owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623,000. This is 2.7 percent (±12.7%)* below the revised July estimate of 640,000, but is 2.6 percent (±13.2%)* above the August 2010 rate of 607,000.

Single-family housing completions in August were at a rate of 477,000; this is 0.2 percent (±10.2%)* below the revised July rate of 478,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 143,000.

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