U.S. private housing starts drop -4.8% in July, while building permits for houses drop -4.1%

Washington, DC – August 16, 2017 – The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for July 2017:

Building Permits – Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,223,000. This is 4.1 percent (±0.9 percent) below the revised June rate of 1,275,000, but is 4.1 percent (±1.8 percent) above the July 2016 rate of 1,175,000. Single-family authorizations in July were at a rate of 811,000; this is unchanged from the revised June figure of 811,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 377,000 in July.
Housing Starts – Privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,155,000. This is 4.8 percent (±10.2 percent) below the revised June estimate of 1,213,000 and is 5.6 percent (±8.5 percent) below the July 2016 rate of 1,223,000. Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 856,000; this is 0.5 percent (±8.5 percent) below the revised June figure of 860,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 287,000.

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Canada new housing starts increase in July (for seventh consecutive month)

Ottawa, ON – August 9, 2017 – The trend in housing starts was 217,550 units in July 2017, compared to 215,175 units in June 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“In July, Canada’s pace in housing construction ramped up for a seventh consecutive month,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “British Columbia and Alberta were the main contributors to the higher trend in housing starts. While BC’s construction coincides with near-record low completed and unsold units in the past few months, Alberta’s inventory of new unsold homes is ramping up, highlighting the need for managing inventories.”

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Canada building permits increase +2.5% in June (the second highest value on record)

Ottawa, ON – August 9, 2017 – Canadian municipalities issued $8.1 billion worth of building permits in June, up 2.5% from May and the second highest value on record. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings were mainly responsible for the national increase. All building components reported gains in June, except for single-family dwellings.

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U.S. construction spending falls -1.3% in June

Washington, DC – August 1, 2017 – Construction spending during June 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,205.8 billion, 1.3 percent (±1.5 percent) below the revised May estimate of $1,221.6 billion. The June figure is 1.6 percent (±1.8 percent) above the June 2016 estimate of $1,186.4 billion. During the first 6 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $577.0 billion, 4.8 percent (±1.3 percent) above the $550.5 billion for the same period in 2016.

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U.S. new single-family house sales up +0.8% in June

Washington, DC – July, 26, 2017 – Sales of new single-family houses in June 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.8 percent (±12.1 percent) above the revised May rate of 605,000 and is 9.1 percent (±14.4 percent) above the June 2016 estimate of 559,000.

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U.S. Architecture Billings Index in June increases fifth month in a row

Washington, DC – July 19, 2017 – For the fifth consecutive month, architecture firms recorded increasing demand for design services as reflected in the June Architecture Billings Index (ABI). As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 54.2, up from a score of 53.0 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.6, down from a reading of 62.4 the previous month, while the new design contracts index decreased from 54.8 to 53.7.

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Canadian Home Builders’ Association launch Net Zero Home Labelling Program

Ottawa, ON – May 2, 2017 – The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) today officially launched its Net Zero Home Labelling Program – continuing CHBA’s long history in leading energy efficiency in residential construction. The Program provides the industry and consumers with a clearly defined and rigorous two-tiered technical requirement that recognizes Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes, and identifies the builders and renovators who provide them. A pilot version of the Net Zero Home Labelling Program ran from September 2015 to December 2016 to validate technical and administrative details.

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Growth in renovation spending in the U.S. will continue to grow in 2017 – remaining over +5%

Cambridge, MA – April 20, 2017 – Strong gains in home remodeling and repair activity are expected to ease moving into next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects that annual growth in home improvement and repair expenditure this year will remain above its long-term trend of 5 percent, but will decline steadily from 7.3 percent in the first quarter to 6.1 percent by the first quarter of 2018.

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Canada building permits fall -6.6% in December … Down -0.8% in all of 2016

Ottawa, ON – February 7, 2017 – Municipalities issued $7.2 billion worth of building permits in December, down 6.6% from November. Lower construction intentions were recorded for all components, led by commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings. In the residential sector, eight provinces posted declines while Ontario reported a record high. In the non-residential sector, the value of building permits fell for the second time in six months, down 11.5% to $2.3 billion in December, led by lower construction intentions for commercial buildings. Decreases were reported in seven provinces, with Ontario, Alberta and Quebec posting the largest declines.

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U.S. construction spending rose +4.5% in 2016 (but down -0.2% in December)

Washington, DC – February 1, 2017 – The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during December 2016 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,181.5 billion, 0.2 percent (±1.0%) below the revised November estimate of $1,184.4 billion. The December figure is 4.2 percent (±1.3%) above the December 2015 estimate of $1,133.7 billion. The value of construction in 2016 was $1,162.4 billion, 4.5 percent (±1.0%) above the $1,112.4 billion spent in 2015.

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