WASHINGTON — U.S. housing
starts fell 4.0% in July, driven by a decline in the construction of
The Commerce Department says that housing starts slipped last month
to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million units. So far
this year, housing starts have declined 3.1%. While there was a
slight 1.3% uptick in the construction of single-family homes, the
gain was offset by a 17.2% drop in the apartment category.
The results suggest a lack of construction relative to demand from
would-be home buyers, which may make it difficult for them to
capitalize on the recent decline in mortgage rates.
Applications for housing permits increased 8.4% to an annual rate of
1.34 million. Apartment complexes drove the increase.