Permits jump 5.7%, driven mostly by multifamily rebound.
Housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,180,000, an 0.8% decline from the revised July estimate of 1,190,000 but 1.4% above the August 2016 rate of 1,164,000, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday morning. Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 851,000, up 1.6% above the revised July figure of 838,000 and up 17.1% from August 2016.
Regionally, starts in the Northeast were down 8.7% and 21.1% from July and August, 2016, respectively, with single-family down 1.5% and up 26.9%, also from July and August a year earlier. The Northeast is a particularly fickle region due to the relatively lackluster pace of new-home building. The Midwest posted sequential and year-over-year gains of 22% and 17.6%, respectively, but saw single-family slip by rates of 4.3% and 2.7%, respectively. In the South, starts were down 7.9% from July but up 0.2% from a year earlier, with single-family up 1.3% and 22.8% respectively. The West saw starts rise 4% sequentially and 4.3% year-over-year, with single-family rising 6.5% and 14.6%, respectively.