Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, assistant vice president of forecasting and analysis at the National Association of Home Builders, said that “decline in single-family permits indicates that builders are slowing construction activity as costs rise.”

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Permit issuance rose to an annualized rate of 1.64 million units, up 2.6% from the revised June rate of 1.59 million. Single-family authorizations dipped 1.7% to 1.04 million units, and multifamily permits were at a rate of 532,000 in July.

“Permits for single-family homes dropped slightly over the month but were higher than a year ago and remain higher than the level of starts,” Fratantoni said. “The pace of construction should continue to increase, particularly if supply-chain constraints begin to loosen.”

The number of housing units completed in July grew 5.6% month over month to 1.40 million and was 3.8% higher than the July 2020 rate of 1.34 million.