US new-home construction fell in June for a second month as a drop in apartment building outweighed a pickup in single-family projects.
Residential starts declined 0.9 percent to a 1.25 million annualised rate, the slowest in three months, according to government figures. Permits, a proxy for future construction, dropped 6.1 percent to a 1.22 million rate, also reflecting a slump in applications to build multifamily units.
Single-family starts advanced 3.5 percent to an annualised rate of 847,000, and permits edged up 0.4 percent to 813,000.
The figures on one-family home construction signals the sector is relatively stable as lower borrowing costs and more subdued price appreciation make homeownership more affordable.
Home construction hasn’t contributed
to economic growth since the fourth quarter of 2017. A report showed homebuilder sentiment increased in July amid solid demand for single- family homes and prospective buyer traffic.
Starts of multifamily homes, a category that tends to be volatile and includes apartment buildings and condominiums, slumped 9.2 percent, and permits plunged 16.8 percent.
At least 165,000 homes were authorized but not yet started, the fewest in a year, indicating builders have less of a backlog.