Housing starts are released jointly by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Analysts use the information to anticipate future production for homebuilders, future demand for raw materials, and labor costs. This data will even affect the forecasts for home-related retailers, like Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Housing starts cover the number of privately owned housing units that started in a given period. For multi-family units, each individual unit is considered a housing start. If there’s a lot of multi-family construction happening, then housing starts can become elevated, and investors must take care not to read too much into the builders of single-family homes.
Both single-family and multi-family starts increase
Housing starts rose from an upward-revised 975,000 to 1,052,000. Multi-family starts were 423,000 in July—an increase from the 318,000 pace in June. Single-family starts increased from 606,000 to 656,000. Single-family starts have been much more stable than multi-family starts and have shown a steady rise.