As expected, housing starts across the U.S. slipped in August. Starts for privately owned housing were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.009 million, 1.3% below the revised July figure of 2.035 million, the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported on September 20.
Starts for single-family homes were at an annual rate of 1.709 million in August, one-tenth of a percentage point above the July rate of 1.707 million. However, the start rate for multi-family dwellings declined by 12.3% to 256,000.
The rate at which building permits are issued, generally a reliable predictor of future housing activity, declined in August, also as expected. Permits for privately owned housing units were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.124 million, 2.2% below the revised July rate of 2.171 million.