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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Recover to Eight-Month High
by Tom Moeller  August 19, 2014

Housing starts during July jumped 15.7% to 1,093,000 AR (21.7% y/y) following a 4.0% June decline to 945,000, revised from 893,000. The latest level was the highest since November and easily beat expectations for 965,000 starts in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Last month's increase reflected a 28.9% rebound (44.7% y/y) in starts of multi-family homes after two months of sharp decline. Also improving were starts of single-family homes, up 8.3% (10.1% y/y). That also followed two months of decline.

A 44.0% rebound (26.3% y/y) in starts in the Northeast led last month's total increase. That was followed by a 29.0% rise (27.4% y/y) in the South; the West posted an 18.6% increase (23.4% y/y). Working 24.8% lower (+1.9% y/y) were starts in the Midwest.

Building permits improved 8.1% (7.7% y/y) to the highest level since April. The gain was led by a 21.5% rebound (14.1% y/y) in multi-family permits. Permits to build single-family homes inched 0.9% higher (3.9% y/y) to the highest level since November.

The housing starts figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total 1,093 945 984 21.7 929 783 612
 Single-Family 656 606 634 10.1 621 537 434
 Multi-Family 437 339 350 44.7 308 247 178
Starts By Region
 Northeast 144 100 88 26.3 96 80 68
 Midwest 164 218 164 1.9 149 128 103
 South 511 396 541 27.4 467 400 309
 West 274 231 191 23.4 217 175 132
Building Permits 1,052 973 1,005 7.7 964 829 624
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