New Home Builds Keep Climbing
Building permits and home completions in July continued four consecutive months of growth, as the housing market remains on a path to recovery. The only decline was a month-to-month falloff of new single-family housing starts from June.
The latest residential construction figures show the homebuilding industry continuing to improve into the summer, with building permits, housing starts and housing completions all up year-over-year.
Building permits for housing units reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 812,000 in July, 6.8 percent above the revised June rate of 760,000 and a whopping 29.5 percent higher than the July 2011 reading. Permits authorizing single-family home builds increased by 4.5 percent, according to the August 16 Census report.
The only decline was in housing starts, and it was a marginal one – the seasonally adjusted annual rate declined 1.1 percent from June, falling from 754,000 to 746,000 units. The rate is still 21.5 percent above July 2011’s 614,000 rate. The decline stemmed from a 6.5 percent dip in single-family housing starts, reversing four months of gains with a 502,000 reading, the lowest since March. A 9.6 percent increase in multiple-family units mitigated the category's overall decline, and despite the stumble in single-family starts, the direction of the trend remains upward.
The housing completion rate in July increased 7.1 percent from June, and 5.4 percent from July 2011, though that statistic has a wider margin for error.
''While many builders believe that the outlook for housing is considerably brighter than it has been in years, we are being very careful about keeping inventories tight and not building ahead of demand,'' said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. ''At the same time, builders are drawing more permits for new construction so we can accommodate buyers and renters as they return to the marketplace.''