Housing Starts Fall in July, Building Permits Surge

by devteam August 16th, 2012 | Share

Overall, residential constructionrncontinued to improve in July, although the component numbers on permits,rnstarts, and completions continue to more or less lurch upward in fits andrnstarts.  Figures posted today by the U.S.rnCensus Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development show improvementsrnin permitting while starts slipped slightly – the mirror opposite of the figuresrnin June.  </p

Permits were issued during the month atrna seasonally adjusted annual rate of 812,000. rnThis was a 6.8 percent increase from an upwardly revised June estimaternof 760,000.  Permitting in June wasrnestimated at a rate of 755,000, a 3.4 percent dip its previous month.  Despite the almost monthly swings, Julyrnpermits were issued at a rate 29.5 percent higher than in July 2011.</p

Permits were issued for single familyrnconstruction at a rate of 513,000, up 4.5 percent from the revised June figurernof 491,000 (revised from 493,000). rnPermits for units in buildings with five or more were at a rate ofrn274,000, up from 241,000 in June.</p

Building Permits

ChartManager.loadChart(‘permitschart’, ‘HousingPermitsChart’);


Housing starts, on the other hand, hadrnjumped 6.9 percent from May to June, but the June number was revised downwardrntoday from 760,000 to 754,000, although still representing a sizeable increase,rnand the July estimate was 1.1 percent below that new June number for a currentrnannual rate of 746,000.  In July 2011 thernrate was 614,000 units.</p

Single family starts in July were at arnrate of 502,000, down 6.5 percent from the June figure of 537,000.  Multi-family starts were at the rate ofrn229,000 units.</p

Housing Starts</p

ChartManager.loadChart(‘housingchart’, ‘HousingChart’);


Privately owned housing completions werernup 7.1 percent from the upwardly revised June number of 624,000 to 668,000rnwhich was 5.4 percent higher than the rate a year earlier.  Single family completions were at a rate ofrn448,000, 5.9 percent higher than the revised rate of 476,000 in June.  Multi-family completions were at a 209,000rnunit pace.    </p

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis,rnthere were 72,200 permits issued nationally in July and 71,700 housing starts.  Fifty-eight thousand housing units wererncompleted during the period.</p

In the Northeast permits increased byrn12.2 percent from June and housing starts were down 1.3 percent.  Permits were down 4.2 percent in the Midwestrnwhile starts surged by 17.0 percent.  Inrnthe South the changes in permitting and starts were +5.8 and -2.5 percentrnrespectively and in the West +14.0 and -5.3 percent.</p

At the end of July there were outstandingrnpermits for 88,900 residential units, 42,800 of which were single familyrndwellings.  As always seems to be therncase, more than half (49,000) of these permits for which construction had notrnstarted were located in the South.  Therernwere 489,000 units under construction at the end of the period, 262,000 ofrnwhich were single family units.  Of therntotal, 210,000 incomplete units were in the South.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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