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Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for July 2017. Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,223,000. This is 4.1 percent (±0.9 percent) below the revised June rate of 1,275,000, but is 4.1 percent (±1.8 percent) above the July 2016 rate of 1,175,000.

Single-family authorizations in July were at a rate of 811,000; this is 0.0 percent (±1.1 percent) below the revised June figure of 811,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 377,000 in July.

Privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,155,000. This is 4.8 percent (±10.2 percent) below the revised June estimate of 1,213,000 and is 5.6 percent (±8.5 percent) below the July 2016 rate of 1,223,000. Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 856,000; this is 0.5 percent (±8.5 percent) below the revised June figure of 860,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 287,000.

Privately-owned housing completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,175,000. This is 6.2 percent (±14.3 percent) below the revised June estimate of 1,252,000, but is 8.2 percent (±12.6 percent) above the July 2016 rate of 1,086,000. Single-family housing completions in July were at a rate of 814,000; this is 1.6 percent (±11.9 percent) below the revised June rate of 827,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 354,000.

“With June starts generating optimism after halting three straight months of declines, the July data is disappointing and may indicate that full year projections of 1.25 million to 1.3 million starts may be optimistic,” said Scott Volling, principal, PwC. “However, we see two reasons to maintain some level of optimism. First, July permits were up 4.1 percent over last year to 1,223,000 and the June permit number was revised upward to a strong 1,275,000, signaling potential strength in starts over the coming months. Second, single family starts rose 10.9 percent from last year to 856,000. Combined with June’s upwardly revised 860,000 single family starts, this is the strongest two-month result for single family starts since fall of 2007, as builders continue to prioritize addressing the pent up demand for single family homes.”

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