Home » Housing Starts Fall to Lowest Level in 17 Years
Housing Starts Fall to Lowest Level in 17 Years
September 17, 2008
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced new residential construction statistics for August 2008:
Building Permits Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 854,000.
This is 8.9% below the revised July rate of 937,000 and is 36.4% below the revised August 2007 estimate of 1,343,000.
Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 554,000; this is 5.1% (±1.3%) below the July figure of 584,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 271,000 in August.
Housing Starts Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 895,000. This is 6.2% below the revised July estimate of 954,000 and is 33.1% below the revised August 2007 rate of 1,337,000.
Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 630,000; this is 1.9% below the July figure of 642,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 251,000.
Year to date, housing starts in the Northeast are up 0.4%. In the Midwest, starts are down 34.9%; in the South starts are down 32.1%; and in the West they are down 37.3%. Year to date in the U.S., housing starts have fallen 30.5%.
Our latest builder surveys have indicated a substantial improvement in builders'sales expectations for the next six months, in part because of the newly enacted tax credit,"said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Seiders. "Meanwhile, the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the ongoing turmoil on Wall Street actually have produced downward pressures on key home mortgage rates, which should also help get more buyers to the table.
"But until sales have clearly turned the corner, it's very important that builders continue the process of pulling in the reins on new production, which is exactly what they are doing and is right in line with our forecast. NAHB continues to project a stabilization of new-home sales in the final quarter of 2008 which should, in turn, allow production to begin a slow and steady recovery by the second quarter of 2009."
Housing Completions Privately-owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 961,000. This is 9.8% below the revised July estimate of 1,065,000 and is 35.8% below the revised August 2007 rate of 1,498,000.
Single-family housing completions in August were at a rate of 676,000; this is 17.0% below the July figure of 814,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 269,000.