Economic Report: U.S. housing starts drop to lowest level since June 2020

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Stock Market

The numbers: Construction of new U.S. homes fell 11.3% in August — falling short of Wall Street expectations — as builders scaled back new projects to focus on completions. The pace of construction reversed course and fell as mortgage rates stayed over 7%, dampening home-buying demand. The last time construction of new homes was at this level was in June 2020.

So-called housing starts fell to a 1.28 million annual pace from 1.45 million in August, the government said Tuesday. That’s how many houses would be built over an entire year if construction took place at the same rate every month as it did in August. Economists on Wall Street were expecting a drop in starts to 1.43 million. All numbers are seasonally adjusted.  Housing starts peaked at 1.8 million in April 2022.  The number of homes started in July was revised downwards, to an increase of 2% to 1.45 million, from an initial reading of a 3.9% gain.  More from MarketWatch: Meet the brave Americans buying and selling their homes, despite stubbornly high interest rates New homes have dominated the housing market, but persistently high rates are beginning to spook home builders. In anticipation of waning demand, builders said they’ve started to ramp up price cuts to boost buyer demand in September, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders.  Building permits, a sign of future cons …

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