South Goes South: Nationwide Housing Starts Down 9.3 Percent in June

July 18th, 2014 by DWM Magazine

Nationwide housing production fell 9.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893,000 units in June, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The drop was due primarily to a nearly 30 percent decline in the South. All other regions posted monthly gains.

Single-family housing starts were down 9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 575,000 units, while multifamily production fell 9.9 percent to 318,000 units.

Regionally, combined single and multifamily housing production rose in the Northeast, the Midwest and the West, with respective gains of 14.1 percent, 28.1 percent and 2.6 percent. Total production fell by 29.6 percent in the South, the nation’s largest region.

“Take away the South and nationwide housing starts would have been in positive territory this month,” says National Association of Home Builders chief economist David Crowe. “This sharp regional decline could be due in part to lots and labor shortages, which are particularly acute in that part of the country. However, the general direction of housing production is trending upward, and we expect 2014 to be a positive year.”

The number of building permits issued was down 4.2 percent to a 963,000 units in June. Multifamily permits dropped 14.9 percent to 332,000 units while single-family permits increased 2.6 percent to 631,000 units.

The Northeast, South and West registered overall permit losses of 15.5 percent, 6.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, while the Midwest posted a 6.6 percent gain.

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