Single-family and multifamily housing starts each posted strong gains in July, with total housing production rising 22.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.5 million units, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders. That’s the highest production rate since February.
Single-family starts increased 8.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 940,000. The multifamily sector rose 58.4% to a pace of 556,000, according to NAHB.
“Strong builder confidence and heavy buyer traffic point to further production gains in the near term, but the more than 110% jump in lumber prices since mid-April is adding approximately $14,000 to the cost of each new single-family home,” said Chuck Fowke, NAHB chairman.
“The market is being buoyed by historically low interest rates, a focus on the importance of housing and a shift to the suburbs as more buyers are seeking homes in suburban communities, exurbs and more affordable low-density markets,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist at NAHB.
Overall permits rose 18.8% to a 1.5 million-unit annualized rate last month. Single-family permits increased 17% to a 983,000-unit pace, while multifamily permits rose 22.5% to a 512,000 pace.