U.S. homebuilding fell for a second straight month in August as a rebound in the construction of single-family houses was offset by persistent weakness in the volatile multifamily home segment.
Housing starts slipped 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million units, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. July’s sales pace was revised up to 1.19 million units from the previously reported 1.16 million units.
Homebuilding has been treading water for much of this year amid shortages of land and skilled labor as well as rising costs of building materials.
Building permits surged 5.7 percent to a rate of 1.30 million units in August, the highest level since January. Single-family home permits fell 1.5 percent, while permits for the construction of multi-family homes soared 19.6 percent.
The data suggested limited impact on permits from Hurricane Harvey, which lashed Texas in late August and caused unprecedented flooding in