Nationwide housing starts were down 9.9%, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000 units, in June 2013, driven down by slowing multifamily construction. At the same time, single-family home building permits, seen as a indicator of future building, rose slightly to reach its highest pace in 5 years.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the pace of single-family home production declined only slightly in June 2013--a decrease of less than 1%.
"While demand for new homes and apartments has grown considerably over the past year, builders are still being very careful not to get ahead of the market, and today's report reflects that cautious approach," said Rick Judson, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, NC.
"The large dip in multifamily production in June follows a boost of activity in May, and is consistent with the volatility that has come to characterize that sector as well as the uneven pace of the housing recovery," noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "That said, the fact that single-family starts and permits both rose in three out of four regions in June is a positive sign that's in keeping with our forecast as well as recent surveys in which single-family builders have registered an increasingly positive outlook."
The annualized rate of multifamily production was down 26.2%, to 245,000 units, in June--after a 28.2% gain the month before.
Single-family home construction was down 0.8% in June 2013 to a 591,000-unit pace.
A 7.5% drop in combined building permits in June 2013 came entirely from a slowdown in the multifamily sector. Multifamily permits fell 21.4% to 287,000 units in June 2013; single-family permits gained 0.6% to 624,000 units, which is its best pace in five years.
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