Wednesday, September 19, 2018 / by Amy McLeod
Housing starts increased 9.2% in August from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.282 million, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. This rise in building was driven by a robust 29.3% climb in the volatile multifamily sector that likely won’t be sustained.
Building permits, a more stable measure that can signal how much construction is in the pipeline, were down for multifamily building, a sign that demand continues to cool for apartments and condominiums.
Permits were also sluggish for the single-family sector, even as steady job and wage growth are helping drive home-buyer demand. Rising material costs and labor shortages are posing challenges for builders seeking to ramp up construction.
“Builders know that there is demand at a lower price point,” said Aaron Ter ...