US housing starts fell 5.8% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million units, according to data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.
Construction of both single-family and multi-family housing declined in August. The National Association of Home Builders Association (NAHB) describes the August starts as a one-month blip in the gradual recovery of the housing market. Compared to August 2015 housing starts are up 9%.
The Association also remarked that single-family home builders were optimistic about market conditions in September—despite the latest housing starts figures—and that construction is expected to strengthen through to 2017. The trend is good news for lumber suppliers as single-family houses consume approximately three times as much wood as multi-family housing and more high-value wood products.
However existing home sales lost momentum this summer because of low inventories, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only the western region reported higher home sales. Despite low mortgage rates many Americans are unable to afford homes due to the shortage of homes and rising home prices.