Single-family starts rose by 12.9 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 782,000. This rise in activity resulted in an uptick in builder confidence on a national and regional basis.

Takeaways:

  • Builder confidence in the single-family home market rose one point in August to a level of 61.
  • Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West and Midwest each rose three points to 63 and 58, respectively.
  • The South posted a two-point gain to 63, and the Northeast held steady at 46.

Single-family starts rose by 12.9 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 782,000. This rise in activity resulted in an uptick in builder confidence on a national and regional basis.

“Our builders are reporting more confidence in the market, and are stepping up production of single-family homes as a result,” said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Builder confidence in the single-family home market rose one point in August to a level of 61, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This score is the highest index reading since November 2005.

“The fact builder confidence has been in the low 60s for three straight months shows that single-family housing is making slow but steady progress,” Woods added.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West and Midwest each rose three points to 63 and 58, respectively. The South posted a two-point gain to 63, and the Northeast held steady at 46.

While confidence increased or held in July, the volume of single-family permits did drop in the Northeast and West.

According to the Commerce Department, the uptick in overall single-family construction during July also resulted in national housing starts activity reaching its highest level since October 2007.

However, the volume of overall housing permits fell by 16.3 percent in July.

Continued job and economic growth will keep single-family housing moving forward, predicted David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist. However, NAHB noted that builders are still reporting problems accessing land and labor.

The association also reported that the average time to complete a home stands at roughly seven months. Homes in nonmetro areas typically take two months shorter to complete than those in larger metros.

Email Erik Pisor.

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