© Sculpies / DreamsTime
Housing Market Photo 87684009 Sculpies Dreamstime 650db2bb6710a

Housing Starts Slammed by -26.3% Monthly Decline in Multi-Family Starts

Sept. 22, 2023
Housing starts get hit hard in August but a rise in single-family building permits shows some reason for optimism
Higher mortgage rates averaging above 7% put a damper on single-family production in August, as builders also continue to face supply-side challenges in the form of elevated construction costs, a lack of skilled labor and a shortage of buildable lots.

Led by a sharp decline in multi-family production, overall housing starts fell -11.3% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.28 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Single-family starts are +2.4% higher than a year ago. The multi-family sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, decreased -26.3% to an annualized 342,000 pace, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,543,000, +6.9% above the revised July rate of 1,443,000, but -2.7% below the Aug. 2022 rate of 1.6 million. According to the latest housing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, August 2022 rate of 1,586,000. Single‐family authorizations in August were at a rate of 949,000, +2% above the revised July figure of 930,000.

Click here to download a spreadsheet of all building permit activity on a MSA, state and national basis through July, 2023

Note: August housing data at the metro and state level will be available once the U.S. Census Bureau releases it.