Construction Permits Drop as Housing Market Starved for Inventory
By Elizabeth Stewart @ Real Estate Daily
August 7, 2018

There will be fewer newly-built homes over the next several months, which isn’t a good sign for the housing market. Homebuyers across the U.S. are starved for housing options, especially when they have a modest budget.

Construction permits and housing starts both fell off in June, according to a joint report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Permits for apartments, condos, and co-op building took the biggest hit, while permits for single-family residences maintained modest growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Construction permits dropped by 2.2% to 1,273,000 in June, a 3% year-over-year decrease
  • Permits for Multifamily buildings fell 8.7% from May to June, while permits for single-family residences rose 0.8%
  • Housing started dropped by 12.3% from May to June, a 4.2% year-over-year decrease


Builders secured 1,273,000 permits in June to erect new abodes—down 2.2% from May and representing a 3% drop from a year ago. Permits are a strong indication of the amount of new construction over the next few months.

“The U.S. housing market is in desperate need of new construction and [this] was a bit of a setback,” Danielle Hale,®’s chief economist, said in a statement. “The market has a long way to go to get back to a normal level of [building].”

But in a spot of good news, permits were up for those so-very-much-in-demand single-family residences. They rose 0.8% from May and 4.6% from June of last year. They just weren’t up enough to make much of a dent in the housing crunch.

The big declines were in apartment, condo, and co-op buildings with five or more units. Permits fell 8.7% from the previous month and 16.2% from the previous year for these multifamily buildings.

Housing starts, that is, construction that has begun but has yet to be completed, was also down. It fell 12.3% from May and dipped 4.2% from June 2017.

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