Steel Markets

Housing Starts Beat Expectations in July

Written by Sandy Williams

Housing starts accelerated in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,093,000, up 15.7 percent from the previous month and 21.7 percent above the July 2013 SAAR, according to reports by the Commerce Department. Single family housing starts were up 8.3 percent from June while starts of multi-family housing of 5 units or more rose 33 percent.

Housing starts in July were higher than the 969,000 predicted by economists polled by Reuters.

“July’s increase in starts combined with rising builder sentiment proves that June’s production dip was more of an anomaly than a reversal of the market,” said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe. “We should continue to see a gradual, consistent recovery throughout the rest of the year.”

Building permit authorizations increased 8.1 percent to a SAAR of 1,052,000. The July rate was 7.7 percent higher than the rate in July 2013. Single family authorizations were up 0.9 percent from June while authorization for housing of five units or more increased 23.6 percent

Housing completions for privately-owned housing were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 841,000, up 3.7 percent from the previous month, and 8.0 percent from the previous year. Single family housing completions rose 6.2 percent from the previous month. Multi-family housing completions fell 4.3 percent from June.

Gains for combined housing starts in the Northeast, South and West increased by 18.8 percent, 9.6 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, over June rates. The Midwest saw a 0.6 percent decline in housing starts.

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