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Nationwide housing production was down 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000 units in July, according to HUD and the United States Census Bureau. However, builders pulled more permits for planned new-home projects than they have in any month since August of 2008.
After four consecutive months of gains, single-family housing starts fell back 6.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 502,000 units in July. However, multifamily starts posted a 12.4-percent gain to 244,000 units, their strongest pace since February.
Regionally, combined single- and multifamily starts declined 1.3 percent in the Northeast, 3.5 percent in the South and 5.3 percent in the West, but rose 17 percent in the Midwest in July.
Issuance of new building permits rose 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 812,000 units in July. Single-family permits rose 4.5 percent to 513,000 units while multifamily permits rose 11.2 percent to 299,000 units.
Permit issuance rose in three out of four regions in July, with a 12.2-percent gain in the Northeast, a 5.8-percent gain in the South and a 14.0-percent gain in the West. The Midwest posted a 4.2 percent decline.