Total housing starts decreased 4.8% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.155 million units. The decrease was driven by a sharp pullback in the apartment housing segment (down 17.1% m/m).
Single-family segment was down by less than 1% from June. Single-family has generated all of the growth so far this year, driven by continued demand for new owner-occupied housing units. For the first seven months, single-family housing starts are 8.6% (54,000 units) higher from the same period last year, while multi-family housing starts are 10% (34,000 units) lower. This is a reversal of the trend from the last few years, when multi-family housing starts generated stronger growth due to demand for rental housing. However, rental market looks more balanced today – as rental growth has slowed and vacancy rate is beginning to increase. This divergence between single-family and multi-family construction can be seen across all census regions, but is larger in the South and the Midwest.