September 14th, 2018 1:13 PM by Eric Fang
Home construction rebounded slightly in July after the large decrease seen in June. Housing Starts, which measure when excavation begins on a home, increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.168 million units. This was 0.9 percent higher than June's downwardly revised estimate of 1.158 million, the Commerce Department reported. Single-family starts, which make up the largest share of the residential housing market, increased 0.9 percent. However, on an annual basis, Housing Starts were down 1.4 percent from July 2017. This is likely because of land and labor shortages as well as higher construction costs for materials seen this year. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, increased 1.5 percent from June and are up 4.2 percent from a year ago. This is a positive sign for homebuyers who have been impacted by limited inventory.
Sales of new homes decreased in July, coming in at an annual rate of 627,000, the Commerce Department reported. Sales were 1.7 percent below June's revised total of 638,000. While sales were down month over month, they were 12.8 percent above July of last year. Sales fell sharply in the Northeast and slightly in the South, while the Midwest and West saw nice gains. There was a 5.9-month supply of new homes available on the market, near the 6-month level considered normal.