US housing starts fall 1.1% in July, but building permits rise

16 August 2012 18:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US new housing construction fell by 1.1% from June to July - to an annualised rate of 746,000 units, but the number of building permits issued rose, an industry association said on Thursday.

After four consecutive months of gains, single-family housing starts fell back 6.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 502,000 units in July, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said, citing the latest numbers released by the US Commerce Department.

Meanwhile, multi-family starts posted a 12.4% gain to 244,000 units in July, their strongest pace since February.

The number of new building permits issued rose by 6.8% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 812,000 units - marking their fastest pace in nearly four years, the NAHB said.

"While many builders believe that the outlook for housing is considerably brighter than it has been in years, we are being very careful about keeping inventories tight and not building ahead of demand," said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg.

NAHB chief economist David Crowe said that housing is increasingly re-emerging as source of strength in local economies.

However, builders continue to face challenges in accessing credit for viable new projects and the difficulty of obtaining accurate appraisals on new homes, Crowe added.

The housing market is a key downstream consumer sector for the chemicals industry, driving demand for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives, roofing materials and synthetic fibres.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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