US housing starts and building permits miss in August

Disappointing numbers for the US construction sector.

Building permits are down three per cent from 0.954m (revised from 0.943m) to 0.918m in August. Economists had expected growth to 0.95m.

Housing starts are also ugly. They climbed 0.9 per cent from 0.883m to 0.891m, but missed analyst estimates of a jump to 0.917m.

Paul Diggle, property economist, Capital Economics:

The small rise in starts is not as disappointing as itfirst appears. The figures are skewed by the volatile multi-family sector; single-family starts posted an encouraging gain.

We’re putting more weight on the 7.0% m/m rise in single-family starts to a sixmonth high of 628,000 annualised. This may be a sign that starts are now moving out of the soft patch that saw them tumble by 17% in the second quarter. Single-family building permits also rose by 3.0% m/m to 627,000 last month.