New-home construction gained in August from the previous month, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today, while building permits slowed.

Privately owned housing starts in August rose 0.6 percent in August from the previous month, registering a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2 million units. Last month’s pace is 9 percent above the August 2003 rate of 1.83 million units.

Single-family housing starts in August 2004 were at a rate of 1.67 million, up 0.4 percent above the July figure of 1.66 million.

The August estimate for units in buildings with five units or more was 265,000.

Privately owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.89 million units, up 1.6 percent above the revised July estimate of 1.87 million and up 20.3 percent above the August 2003 rate of 1.58 million.

Single-family housing completions in August 2004 were at a rate of 1.53 million, 0.4 percent above the July figure of 1.52 million. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 347,000.

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.95 million units, a drop of 5.5 percent below the revised July rate of 2.06 million and 0.6 percent below the August 2003 estimate of 1.96 million.

Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 1.54 million, down 3 percent from the July figure of 1.59 million.

Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 326,000 in August.

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