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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

September 19, 2023

Month over month (August 2023 vs July 2023, seasonally adjusted annualized rates) 

US housing starts decreased 11.3% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of  1,283,000 units.  There was an decrease in single unit starts (-4.3%) and a decline in multi-unit starts (-26.3%).  The number of residential building permits increased 6.9% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1,543,000 units.  Permits were up for single dwellings (+2.0%), up for structures with 2-4 dwellings (+25.5%), and up for multi-unit structures with more than 5 dwellings (+14.8%).

Year over year (August 2023 vs August 2022, seasonally adjusted annualized rates)                                                             

Compared to August 2022, US housing for starts were down 14.8%, with increases in single dwelling starts (+2.4%) and down multi-unit dwellings (-41.0%). Residential building permits were down 2.7%, with increases in single units (+7.2%) and, increases in structures with 2-4 dwellings (+15.7%). Structures with 5 or more dwellings down (-17.7%).  

Year to date (January-August 2023 vs January-August 2022)

Year-to-date housing starts have averaged 13.1% lower in the first eight months of 2023 than in the same period of 2022.  Starts starts for single dwellings fell 16.3% and for multi-unit dwellings were down 6.1%. Residential building permits declined by 17.3% with year-to-date declines in all categories: single dwellings (-17.9%), structures with 2-4 dwellings (-5.6%) and structures with 5 or more dwellings (-17.3%).

Source: US Census Bureau New Residential Construction, retrieved from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using a FRED API. 



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