Housing starts rose 2.1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.2 million units, the highest level since February, according to a new Commerce Department report.
Single-family starts barely budged, rising just .5 percent to 770,000 units, while multifamily starts jumped 5.0 percent to 441,000 units.
According to CNBC, construction on multifamily projects with more than five units rose to the highest level since September 2015. Multifamily production continues to be driven by the demand for new rentals in many markets.
Housing starts increased in all segments last month, prompting some optimism from economists and builders alike.
As CNBC points out, a recent builder survey reported that confidence is up in August, “with builders optimistic about sales now and over the next six months. However, their views about prospective buyer traffic softened a bit.” Economists also expect residential construction will continue to rise in the third quarter of the year.
Source: “US housing starts total 1.21M in July vs. 1.18M starts expected,” CNBC (Aug. 16, 2016)