WASHINGTON—A report released Sept. 18 from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Department shows total housing starts rose 12.3 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.36 million units, which is the highest level since May 2007.
Last month's 12-year high was led by a surge of construction for multi-family housing such as apartment buildings and condos. This sector reversed two months of declines with a 32.8 percent spike in starts to 445,000 units, if builders keep this pace for the next 12 months.
Single-family starts are up 4.4 percent to 919,000 units, which revises July's estimate of 880,000. The July figure for housing with five or more units was revised up from 424,000 units. That's potentially 39,000 more houses and 21,000 more condos and apartments that will need vinyl siding and windows, fiberglass doors, PVC and polyethylene pipes, foam insulation and the like.
U.S. Census Department, U.S. Housing and Urban Development
Home construction surged in August according to two federal agencies.
"Housing has been on an upswing in recent months as the pace of permits and starts has been rising since spring," according to Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. "While these are positive developments, single-family starts are down 2.7 percent year-to-date as the catch up process continues."