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Commerce Department: August 2012 Housing Starts Rise 2.3%

September 19, 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that housing starts increased 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 units. July's starts were revised down to  733,000-unit pace from 746,000. Economists were expecting August 2012 residential construction to rise to a 765,000-unit rate.

BUILDING PERMITS

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 803,000. This is 1.0 percent (1.2%) below the revised July rate of 811,000, but is 24.5 percent (1.7%) above the August 2011 estimate of 645,000.

Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 512,000; this is 0.2 percent (0.8%)* above the revised July figure of 511,000.

Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 263,000 in August.

HOUSING STARTS

Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000. This is 2.3 percent (10.2%) above the revised July estimate of 733,000 and is 29.1 percent (12.8%) above the August 2011 rate of 581,000.

Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 535,000; this is 5.5 percent (10.4%) above the revised July figure of 507,000.

The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 208,000.

HOUSING COMPLETIONS

Privately-owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 689,000. This is 0.7 percent (18.8%) above the revised July estimate of 684,000 and is 11.7 percent (17.5%) above the August 2011 rate of 617,000.

Single-family housing completions in August were at a rate of 489,000; this is 5.4 percent (14.3%) above the revised July rate of 464,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 193,000.

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