Market news

18 August 2021

U.S. housing starts retreat in July, but trend remains healthy - TD Bank Financial Group

ActionForex offers views of the TD Bank Financial Group's analysts on the latest U.S. housing data.

"Housing starts fell 7% (or 116k) to 1.53 million units (annualized) in July. The headline number came in below expectations, which called for a more moderate pullback to 1.61 million. Upward revisions to the prior two months added 55k to the overall tally."

"Starts in the single-family segment fell 4.5% (or 52k) to 1.11 million, while starts in the multifamily segment fell 13.1% (or 64k) to 423k."

"Permitting activity recorded its first gain in three months, rising 2.6% to 1.64 million. The multifamily segment, where permits rose 11.2% to 587k was entirely responsible for the increase. Single-family permits, meanwhile, fell 1.7% to 1.05 million, retreating for the fourth consecutive month."

"A pullback in housing starts in July was widely expected given that permitting activity (a leading indicator for starts) had fallen in each of the three months prior. Despite this, the overall pace of new homebuilding remains relatively healthy, with the six-month moving average still above the pre-pandemic trend at close to 1.59 million."

"The smaller multifamily market has contributed to the healthy pace of homebuilding, with starts in the segment generally trending higher over the last several months thanks to improving public health conditions and better prospects for dense urban living. The recent surge in multifamily permits suggests that the pullback in starts experienced in July may be short-lived. But, the latest Delta-driven COVID-19 wave could still pose a near-term hurdle for the segment."

"Rising material costs and a shortage of qualified labor, coupled with buyers’ affordability challenges add to concerns for builders. Builder sentiment in the larger single-family market has eased gradually in recent months. Nonetheless, the fundamentals for homebuilding remain solid, thanks to an improving labor market backdrop and still exceptionally low inventory levels."

Material posted here is solely for information purposes and reliance on this may lead to losses. Past performances are not a reliable indicator of future results. Please read our full disclaimer.

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