August home building fell 5%, slide continues

By Lin31 Comments

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/August-home-building-fell-5-apf-316920322.html?x=0

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 571,000 homes last month, a 5% decline from July and a three-month low. That’s less than half the 1.2 million that economists say is consistent with healthy housing markets.

Single-family homes, which represent roughly two-thirds of home construction, fell 1.4%. Apartment building plunged 12.4%.

Building permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 3.2%.

Home construction is down nearly 6% over the past year. But permits are up nearly 8%. That suggests builders aren’t working on new homes, but may be preparing to start dormant projects when the economy improves.

Builders typically begin construction on single-family homes six months after getting a permit. With apartment projects, the lag time can be up to a year.

Construction fell to its lowest levels in 50 years in 2009, when builders began work on just 554,000 homes. Last year was not much better and this year is shaping up to be just bad.

New-home sales fell in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, the weakest pace in five months. This year is shaping up to be the worst for sales on records dating back a half-century.

News, News-Housing

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