U.S. Housing Starts Rose by More Than Forecast in August By Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) — U.S. rose by more than expected in August, suggesting that the supply and labor constraints that have been holding back construction eased in the month.
According to Tuesday’s government data, residential starts increased 3.9% to 1.62million annualized rates after a revised July print. A Bloomberg survey suggested a pace of 1.55 million, which was the median estimate.
In August, building permits rose 6%, which is the largest increase since January. It reflects a large jump in multifamily units. The number of single-family house permits also rose.
These data indicate that builders have made some progress despite the limited supply of labor, land and materials. This has caused residential start to slow down from its 15-year peak in March. The bottlenecks aside, construction activity is likely to remain elevated despite them.
On Monday, a measure of homebuilder optimism rose for the first times in five years. This was due to higher lumber prices and strong demand.
The number of single-family houses under construction but not yet completed, a measure of backlogs, rose to 702,000, the most since 2007, further underscoring builders’ struggle to keep up with demand.
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