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New Housing Starts and Building Permits Rose in August

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New Housing Starts and Building Permits Rose in August on Increased Apartment Construction, Commenter and Blogger RJS, MarketWatch 666 Microsoft Word – newresconst_auto_text_202108.docx (census.gov), The August report on New Residential Construction (pdf) from the Census Bureau indicated that their widely watched estimate of new housing units that were started during the month was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,615,000, which was 3.9 percent (±11.3 percent)* above the revised July estimated annual rate of 1,554,000 housing unit starts, and was 17.4 percent (±12.1 percent) above last August’s pace of 1,376,000 housing starts a year…the asterisk indicates that the Census Bureau does not have sufficient data to determine whether housing

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New Housing Starts and Building Permits Rose in August on Increased Apartment Construction, Commenter and Blogger RJS, MarketWatch 666

Microsoft Word – newresconst_auto_text_202108.docx (census.gov),

The August report on New Residential Construction (pdf) from the Census Bureau indicated that their widely watched estimate of new housing units that were started during the month was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,615,000, which was 3.9 percent (±11.3 percent)* above the revised July estimated annual rate of 1,554,000 housing unit starts, and was 17.4 percent (±12.1 percent) above last August’s pace of 1,376,000 housing starts a year…the asterisk indicates that the Census Bureau does not have sufficient data to determine whether housing starts actually rose or fell from July, with the figures in parenthesis the most likely range of the changes indicated; in other words, August’s housing starts could have been down by 7.4% or up by as much as 15.2% from those of July, with a 10% chance that the actual change could have even been outside of that wide range…in this report, the annual rate for July housing starts was revised from the 1,534,000 reported last month to 1,554,000, while June’s housing starts, which were first reported at a 1,643,000 annual rate, were revised up from last month’s initial revised figure of 1,650,000 annually to 1,657,000 annually with this report….

Those annual rates of housing starts reported here were extrapolated from a survey of a small percentage of US building permit offices visited by Census field agents, which estimated that 144.000 housing units were started in August, up from the 148,200 units started in July, but down from 154,300 housing starts in June…of those housing units started in August, an estimated 96,600 were single family homes and 46,700 were units in structures with more than 5 units, down from the revised 104,000 single family starts in July, but up from the 37,900 units started in structures with more than 5 units in July…

The monthly data on new building permits, with a smaller margin of error, are probably a better monthly indicator of new housing construction trends than the volatile and often revised housing starts data…in August, Census estimated new building permits were being issued for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,728,000 housing units, which was 6.0 percent (±1.4 percent) above the revised July rate of 1,630,000 permits, and was 13.5 percent (±1.8 percent) above the rate of building permit issuance in August a year earlier…the annual rate for housing permits issued in July was revised from an annual rate of 1,635,000 to a rate of 1,630,000 annually….

Again, these annual estimates for new permits reported here were extrapolated from the unadjusted estimates collected by canvassing census agents, which showed permits for roughly 155,300 housing units were issued in August, up from the revised estimate of 139,200 new permits issued in July…the August permits included 94,000 permits for single family homes, up from 91,900 in July, and 57,400 permits for housing units in apartment buildings with 5 or more units, up from 42,700 such multifamily permits a month earlier…

For more graphs and commentary on this report, see the following posts by Bill McBride at Calculated Risk: Housing Starts increased to 1.615 Million Annual Rate in August and Comments on August Housing Starts, which also links to his additional comments on August housing starts in the Calculated Risk newsletter at Substack…… 

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