Single-Family Home Building Climbs 3.5% in June

Despite a rebound in single-family construction starts, the U.S. housing market continued to struggle overall.

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Housing starts in the U.S. in June decreased 0.9 percent overall, as a rise in the construction of single-family housing units was not enough to offset low rates of multi-family homebuilding,

According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, single-family housing starts were 3.5 percent higher in June than in May, while multi-family housing starts dropped an alarming 9.4 percent over the same time frame. Similarly, the number of authorized building permits rose percent in single-family housing but was 6.1 percent lower overall, marking the lowest number since May 2017.

“The housing market hit a soft patch last year and has been a drag on economic growth for five straight quarters,” CNBC reported. “It likely subtracted from GDP in the second quarter.”

Despite news of this overall drop, the National Association of Home Builders reported that, based on their monthly Housing Market Index, homebuilder confidence actually rose a point in July to a score of 65.

“Builders report solid demand for single-family homes. However, they continue to grapple with labor shortages, a dearth of buildable lots and rising construction costs that are making it increasingly challenging to build homes at affordable price points relative to buyer incomes,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde in a press release.

The HMI bases its findings off of a monthly survey of NAHB members that asks respondents to rate both the market conditions for the sale of new homes and the traffic of prospective buyers for new homes. So far in 2019, the homebuilder confidence rating peaked in May with a score of 66.