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US housing starts dropped just under 6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,142,000 units in August, according to new data released today from the Census Bureau. While this represented a less than 1 percent gain from the previous year, it was a 5.8 percent decrease from activity seen in July.

After three months of consecutive gains, new single-family housing starts declined 6 percent month-over-month to 722,000 units seasonally adjusted in August. This also marked a 1.2 percent decrease from August 2015.

The Northeast recorded the highest decline in new single-family housing starts in August at nearly 14 percent from the previous month. Single-family housing starts in the South declined by just over 13 percent month-over-month in August. The Midwest and West each recorded just over 6 percent month-over-month increases.

The total number of building permits issued recorded a 2.3 percent decline to 1,139,000 units seasonally adjusted from August 2015. This was a slight 0.4 percent decrease from the previous month.

New single-family building permits issued increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 737,000 permits from 711,000 permits the previous month. This was a nearly 4 percent increase from both the previous month and previous year.

The Northeast recorded no change in total permits in August from the previous month, but recorded a 15 percent decline from August 2015, the only year-over-year decline in the US. The Midwest had the largest gains in building permits issued at 11.5 percent from the previous year.

National new housing completions rose to just over 8 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,043,000 units from the previous year. New single-family units meanwhile recorded a 13 percent jump year-over-year in completions to a seasonally adjusted 752,000 units.

Completion rates soared in the Northeast, recording a huge 57.8 percent increase from the previous year. Single-family unit completions were the highest in the Northeast in August, up 18.4 percent from August 2015.

You can view the entire Census report here.

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