Housing starts close on 8-year high

Home starts rise in July as permits fall.

Construction on single family homes fueled housing starts last month, reaching a near eight-year high.

According to new information from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as the Commerce Department, starts on privately owned homes came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,206,000, just a 0.2 percent increase over June but a 10.1 percent increase over July of 2014. Single family units jumped 12.8 percent over the prior month to a rate of 782,000. 

Despite the positive single family production, multifamily starts fell 17 percent to 424,000 last month.

"A mixed bag from July's data, but with the strength we are seeing in home builder confidence, which is at its highest level in ten years, we expect to see an ongoing pick-up in starts as we move into the fall," Tom Wind, executive vice president of Home Lending at EverBank told HousingWire.com.

The sentiments of home builder confidence Wind mentioned were echoed by National Association of Home Builders chairman Tom Woods, but Woods said that permitting is dampening what would be an otherwise strong July. 

"Our builders are reporting more confidence in the market, and are stepping up production of single-family homes as a result," Woods said in a release. "However, builders are still reporting problems accessing land and labor."

Figures from HUD seem to confirm this. Permits fell 16.3 percent in July when compared to June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,119,000, but were still 7.5 percent above the number of permits in July of 2014. The reason for the significant month over month decrease is a drop in multifamily permits, which were almost a third less than they were in June, falling 31.8 percent to 440,000. Single family permits dipped slightly to 679,000, a 1.9 percent drop.

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