The number of housing starts in the U.S. fell 3 percent from July to August, even though the amount of building permits issued increased by 3.5 percent, according to new federal statistics.
“Permit growth indicates that our members feel confident that consumers are returning to the market,” Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), says.
Both single-family and multifamily housing starts went down 3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The month-over-month drop in housing starts was still 16.6 percent higher than the number of starts in August 2014. The country had 1.13 million housing starts in August 2015, up from 996,000 the year prior, according to the HUD data.
Difficulty hiring enough workers and finding properties for new building projects may have contributed to the decreases, Woods says.
“A slight one-month decline is not unusual as the housing market moves forward at a slow and steady pace,” NAHB chief economist David Crowe says. “However, encouraging permit, year-over-year increases in single and multifamily production, and rising builder confidence all bode well for a continuing, gradual recovery throughout the rest of the year.”