Privately owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,381,000, down 21 percent from 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Privately owned housing
starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,381,000,
according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban
Development. This is 20.9 percent below the revised July 2006 rate of
1,746,000, and 6.1 percent below the revised June 2007 estimate of 1,470,000.
starts in July were at a rate of 1,070,000, down 7.3 percent from the June
figure of 1,154,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or
more was 275,000.
Privately owned housing
completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,512,000 - a
decline of 22.2 percent from the same period last year. Single-family housing
completions in July were at a rate of 1,203,000; this is 4 percent below the
June figure of 1,253,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units
or more was 280,000.
permits in July were 1,003,000; this is 1.6 percent below the June figure of
1,019,000. Overall, privately owned housing unit building permits had declined
22.6 percent from last year.
In other housing news, highly visible problems in the housing finance
system are contributing to a wait-and-see attitude among prospective home
buyers and reducing builder confidence in the single-family housing market,
according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo
Housing Market Index. The index declined two points to 22 in August, its lowest
level since January 1991. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view
sales conditions as good than poor.
realize that issues related to mortgage credit cost and availability have
become more acute, filtering some prospective buyers out of the market and
prompting others to delay their decision to purchase a new home,” said NAHB
PresidentBrian Catalde, a home builder from El
Segundo, Calif. “Builders are responding by trimming prices and stepping up
non-price incentives to bolster sales and limit cancellations, although we’re
dealing in a difficult market environment.”
“There is no question that problems in the subprime
mortgage sector have spilled over to other components of housing finance,
including the Alt.-A and jumbo markets, delaying a revival of the single-family
housing market,” added NAHB Chief EconomistDavid
Seiders. “However, the government-related parts of the mortgage
market still are functioning well and the underlying economic fundamentals
promise to remain solid for some time - providing support to the longer-run
housing outlook. We now expect to see home sales return to an upward path by
early next year and we expect housing starts to begin a gradual recovery
process by mid-2008. From there, the market will have plenty of room to grow in
2009 and beyond.”