This morning, the Census Bureau released its New Residential Construction Report for August.

Building Permits

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,229,000. This is 5.7 percent below the revised July rate of 1,303,000 and is 5.5 percent below the August 2017 rate of 1,300,000.

Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 820,000; this is 6.1 percent below the revised July figure of 873,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 370,000 in August.

Housing Starts

Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,282,000. This is 9.2 percent above the revised July estimate of 1,174,000 and is 9.4 percent above the August 2017 rate of 1,172,000.

Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 876,000; this is 1.9 percent above the revised July figure of 860,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 392,000.

Housing Completions

Privately-owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000. This is 2.5 percent above the revised July estimate of 1,183,000 and is 11.2 percent above the August 2017 rate of 1,091,000.

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Single-family housing completions in August were at a rate of 923,000; this is 11.6 percent above the revised July rate of 827,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 285,000.

Starts and Permits 1960-Present

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January 1962

  • Starts: 1,361,000
  • Permits: 1,122,000

August 2018

  • Starts: 1,282,000
  • Permits: 1,229,000

There were more starts in 1962 than today. People cannot afford houses.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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Housing Starts Jump 12.3%, Permits 7.7%, Completions, 2.4%

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Housing starts rose a solid 5% in May with permits down 4.6%. Starts are more important so this was a good report.

Housing Starts and Permits Well Below Most Pessimistic Estimates

Economists expected a small pullback in housing starts and permits. Instead, those aspects of the report were a disaster

Housing Starts and Permits Rebound in March but Strength Entirely Multi-Family

Housing starts rose 1.9 percent in March led by multi-family. Single-family starts dipped 3.7 percent.

Mediocre Housing Numbers: Single-Family Starts and Permits Down, Multi-Family Up

Today's construction report shows permits fell 0.6%, single-family starts fell 1.8%, but multi-family starts rose 1.6%.

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For the fourth consecutive month, housing stats provided a wild ride. For December, starts rose 11.3%, but that was thanks to a 57% jump in multi-family.

Housing Peaked May of 2018: Cycle Trends Suggest Long, Weak Recovery is Over

Housing starts are down 4% in July. Permits are up 8.4%.