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Housing starts soar in July

Starts jump 5.9% from June on multifamily strength

Construction

Housing starts soared in the month of July, rising 5.9% from June levels and jumping 20.9% from last year, government data shows.

Strength in the multifamily sector caused the sharp increase with single-family starts actually edging down a bit.

Starts on privately owned homes reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000 in July, up from 846,000 in June and a large jump from 741,000 a year ago, the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Friday.

Single-family housing starts alone fell 2.2% from June to July, reaching a rate of 591,000 units last month –  below June’s revised estimate of 604,000 single-family starts.

Multifamily is where analysts found great strength.

"The boost in starts was led by a monthly 26% jump in the volatile multifamily component after a 24.8% fall in June," Econoday analysts noted.

The July starts rate for buildings with five or more housing units also reached 290,000 units.  

Meanwhile, completed home construction grew 1.8% from June and rose 15% above year ago levels, with 774,000 home completions in July. This compares to 760,000 finished units in June and 673,000 completed homes a year ago.

During the same month, 943,000 building permits were recorded, a 2.7% rise from June and a 12.4% increase from year-ago levels when only 839,000 permits for new construction were filed. 

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