Total housing starts dipped slightly by 0.9% in June with single-family gains offsetting a drop in multi-family production according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department.

The adjusted seasonal annual rate of 1.25 million units is the projected total of starts builders would begin if they kept the same pace for the next 12 months. This total leveled-out due to an increase of 3.5% in single-family starts to 847,000 units and a decrease of 9.2 % in multifamily starts, which includes apartment buildings and condos, to a 406,000 pace.

“This relatively flat data is due to a decline in multifamily production, which remains somewhat elevated due to affordability concerns in the for-sale market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The Census data shows that the only region showing single-family construction gains for the first half of 2019 is the South, where housing is generally more affordable relative to incomes.”

Regionally, single-family and multifamily starts combined for June rose in the Northeast (31.3%) and Midwest (27.1%) but declined in the South (9.2%) and West (4.9%).

“The monthly pick up from May to June in single-family starts is in line with the slight rise in our latest builder confidence survey, as demand remains solid due to a healthy job market,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.

Overall permits, which are a measurement for future housing production, fell to a 1.22 million unit annualized rate (6.1% less) with single-family permits up to 813,000 (0.4% higher) and multifamily permits fell to 407,000 (16.8% less). Looking at regional permit data, permits rose in the Northeast (21.9%) and fell in the South (10.4%), West (7.9%) and Midwest (0.6%).

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