June residential construction up, led by multifamily housing

July 20, 2015

WASHINGTON (7/20/15)--New residential construction starts rose 9.8% in June, or 26.6% more than in June 2014, said the U.S. Department of Commerce Friday.

The increase was led by housing starts of multifamily units of five units or more. Single-family construction starts fell slightly from May’s revised numbers but still increased from a year earlier.

Actual construction starts for privately owned housing in June totaled 1.174 million, a 9.8% increase from May’s revised estimate of 1.069 million and 26.6% above the 927,000 construction starts in June 2014. Single-family housing starts totaled 685,000, a 0.9% drop from May’s 691,000 estimate. The June rate for five units or more totaled 476,000.

Building permits for privately owned housing units totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.343 million, a 7.4% increase over revised May figures and 30% over the June 2014 estimate of 1.033 million. Building permits for single-family housing totaled 687,000, which is 0.9% above the revised May figure of 681,000 and 6% above June 2014’s permits. Authorizations for construction in buildings with five or more units were 621,000 for June.

Construction completions for privately owned housing in June stood at 972,000, or 6.7% below the 1.042 million revised May completions. However, the June rate is 22% more than the June 2014 rate of 797,000. Single-family completions were 647,000 in June, or 0.3% below the May revised rate of 649,000. Housing completions for multifamily units of five or more in June totaled 317,000.

Regionally, the multifamily construction increase was nearly all in the Northeast, which had 125% more starts than in June 2014. analysts attributed that increase to the end of apartment construction tax incentives in New York ( July 17). The South led in single-family construction growth with a 6.8% increase year over year.

Single-family housing starts compared with June 2014 are down in the Northeast and Midwest, but up in the South and West. The U.S. housing recovery will be nearly complete only when the Midwest and Northeast show steady gains in single-family construction, said