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Industry News

Housing starts slip

August 19, 2002

Month-over-month single-family starts see 2.2 percent decrease

Inman News Features

Single-family housing starts and building permits declined 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, in July compared with June, according to estimates reported jointly today by the U.S. Commerce Department's Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,698,000, a 0.5 percent decrease from the revised June rate of 1,706,000, and a 6 percent increase from the July 2001 estimate of 1,602,000.

Single-family authorizations in July were at a rate of 1,275,000, a 1.4 percent decrease from the June figure of 1,293,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 349,000 in July.

Privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,649,000, a 2.7 percent decrease from the revised June estimate of 1,695,000 and 0.9 percent below the July 2001 rate of 1,664,000.

Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 1,321,000, a 2.2 percent decrease from the June figure of 1,351,000. The July estimate for units in buildings with five units or more was 301,000.

Despite the recent decrease in housing starts, home builders continue to stress the positive force of the housing market on the nation's economy.

National Association of Home Builders President Gary Garczynski earlier this week at President Bush's Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, expressed confidence that a thriving housing market will continue to bolster the nation's economic recovery.

"It's important to note that housing's contribution to the economy is not limited to the direct impact of home sales and housing production on GDP," Garczynski added. "Housing activity stimulates other closely related parts of the economy, such as the markets for furniture and appliances, and in fact housing has heavily influenced roughly one-fifth of overall economic activity in recent times."

Copyright: Inman News Service

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