Consumer demand for single-family homes is holding strong, buoyed by steady job growth, income gains and low unemployment in many parts of the country. Total housing starts inched up 0.9 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.
The July reading of 1.17 million is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts held firm, up 0.9 percent to 862,000 units. Meanwhile, the multifamily sector—which includes apartment buildings and condos—rose 3 percent to 306,000.