Declining Housing Starts: Housing Market Slowdown a Drag on U.S. Economy

3d image of house with graph falling

The U.S. Census Bureau’s July report on new residential constructions shows that housing starts are on a decline, pointing to a slowdown in the U.S. housing market.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have jointly published the July report on new residential constructions within the country. The report reveals that new residential constructions have dropped in the month of July.

According to the report, new housing starts fell to 1.15 million in July, which is a 4.8% drop from the previous month of June. On a year-over-year basis, the decline is recorded at 5.6% from July of 2016.

Likewise, building permits issued for privately-owned housing units fell to 1.22 million, which accounts for a 4.1% drop from the previous month. These building permits indicate the number of future construction projects that are in the pipeline but haven’t been started yet.


Likewise, new constructions that were completed through the month of July were recorded at 1.175 million, which is a 6.2% drop from June.

The decline across the three categories was primarily obvious in the Midwestern states, which, according to the Census Bureau, include the 12 states of Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

Housing starts also showed a 1.6% decline in the western states in the month of July when compared to the previous month of June.

The report also identified that the decline in housing starts was seen across both single-family and multi-family homes.

Single-family housing starts, including detached and semi-detached housing, fell by 0.5% through the month of July as compared to June.

Likewise, multi-family housing starts, which include townhouses, apartments, and condominiums with five units or more, also posted a decline in the month of July. Housing starts for multi-family homes fell by 17.1% in the month from the same period in June.

The decline in new residential constructions is an implicit indicator of a slowdown in the housing market. It is worth a concern that the American housing market is slowing at a time when interest rates are low and the job numbers are sound.


Monthly New Residential Construction, July 2017,” U.S. Census Bureau, August 16, 2017.


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