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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Strengthen in June
by Tom Moeller  July 20, 2021

• Increase is surprisingly strong.

• Single-family and multi-family starts rise.

• Building permits decline again.

Housing starts increased 6.3% (29.1% y/y) during June to 1.643 million (SAAR from 1.546 million in May, revised from 1.572 million units. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected June starts of 1.586.

Starts of single-family homes rose 6.3% (28.5% y/y) in June to 1.160 million units from 1.091 million in May, revised from 1.098 million. Starts of multi-family units improved 6.2% (30.5% y/y) to 483,000 from 455,000 units, revised from 474,000.

Building permits declined 5.1% (+23.3% y/y) last month to 1.598 million from 1.683 million in May, revised from 1.681 million. Permits to build single-family homes declined 6.3% (+25.1% y/y) to 1.063 million, down for the third straight month. Permits to build multi-family homes weakened 2.6% (+20.0% y/y) to 535,000, remaining the lowest level since December.

By region, housing starts in the Northeast fell 9.0% (+5.2% y/y) to 122,000, the third straight monthly decline. In the Midwest, starts declined 7.5% (+1.0% y/y) to 210,000 after rising 26.1% in May. Housing starts in the South improved 9.7% (35.1% y/y) to 882,000 following a 2.8% rise in May. In the West, starts rose 12.6% (44.9% y/y) to 429,000, the highest level in four months.

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

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Total 1,643 1,546 1,514 29.1 1,397 1,292 1,247
  Single-Family 1,160 1,091 1,061 28.5 1,004 889 871
  Multi-Family 483 455 453 30.5 393 403 376
Starts By Region
  Northeast 122 134 158 5.2 113 115 111
  Midwest 210 227 180 1.0 193 169 170
  South 882 804 782 35.1 743 687 630
  West 429 381 394 44.9 347 321 336
Building Permits 1,598 1,683 1,733 23.3 1,479 1,385 1,329
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