Housing

Housing Starts Continue Rise, New Permits Cooling

New housing starts in August rose to an annual seasonally adjusted rate of 750,000, an increase of 2.3% from the revised July rate of 733,000 and a gain of 29.1% above the August 2011 rate of 581,000. A consensus estimate from a survey of economists expected the rate to rise to 775,000.

The seasonally adjusted rate of new building permits fell to 803,000, which is 1% less than the revised July rate of 811,000 and 24.5% higher than the August 2011 rate of 627,000.

Single-family housing starts rose to 535,000 in August, up 5.5% from the revised July rate of 507,000. In the year to date, single-family housing starts are up 21.3% year-over-year.

For the first eight months of 2011, starts averaged 401,200, while starts in the first eight months of 2012 have averaged 504,400. That’s an increase of 26%, and even if new starts slow down in the final few months of the year, the full-year increase over 2011 is likely to be at least 20%. Good news indeed.

Paul Ausick