After a dismal June report, housing starts rebounded to an annual rate of 1.093 million for a 15.7% increase over the upwardly revised June level. The substantial June dip caused by a fall in single-family construction in the South was wiped out as single-family construction rose 8.3% for the US with increases in three of the four regions. Midwest single-family starts were down 6.8% to 109,000 but remain at about the same level as the second quarter average.
Multifamily starts burst forward to 437,000, the highest since February 2006. That increase was also spread across three of the four regions. Midwest multifamily starts were down 46% but that was from an unusually low June. The June-July average is still well above the first half of the year.
Permits for building also rose to 1.052 million, up 8.1% from June. Single-family permits were roughly even with an upwardly revised June to 640,000 and up 3.9% from July 2013. Multifamily permits broke the 400,000 barrier again to 412,000 or a 21.5% increase over June as the need for apartments for young adults continues.
The July report confirms the forward momentum in housing construction that was stalled from the unusual winter weather in many parts of the country and continued to meander as the weather improved. The June report caused a concern that the market would not revive, but positive economic news, continued low mortgage rates and significant pent up demand have revived the market. NAHB expects continued improvement through the rest of 2014.