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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

August 18, 2020

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced today the new residential construction statistics for July 2020. Due to COVID-19, many businesses are operating on a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely.


US residential building permits increased 18.8 per cent in July 2020 compared to the revised June 2020 estimate, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1,495,000. This is 9.4 per cent above the July 2019 estimate of 1,366,000.

Year-over-year (July 2019 vs July 2020) growth in permits was primarily due to the 15.5 per cent increase registered in permits for single unit structures. Permits for structures with 2 to 4 units declined 2.2 per cent compared to July 2019 levels while permits for structures with 5 units or more were down 0.4 per cent over July 2019.


In July 2020, US housing starts increased 22.6 per cent compared to the revised June 2020 estimate, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1,496,000. This was 23.4 per cent above the July 2019 estimate of 1,212,000.

Year-over-year (July 2019 vs July 2020), starts for structures with 5 or more units increased 67.8 per cent. Starts for single unit structures were also up 7.4 per cent over July 2019 level.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, comparisons of year-to-date averages and sums do not show Nova Scotia’s rapidly-changing economic situation. The DailyStats will focus on year-over-year comparisons, comparing one month with the same month in the prior year. Where possible the DailyStats will make comparisons of seasonally adjusted data from the pre-COVID-19 period (January and February 2020) with the period during which COVID-19 measures were in place from March 2020 onwards.


Source: US Census Bureau New Residential Construction

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