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The Week Ahead: Keeping an Eye on Construction

Construction MaterialOn Wednesday, the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will release the August 2018 New Residential Construction survey. The survey covers single-family residential construction statistics for the month, and previous surveys have indicated a growing market for new homes.

However, the July survey indicated that construction companies may not be able to keep up with the rising demand for new homes. In July, building permits increased 1.5 percent month over month, but housing completions saw a decline of 1.7 percent.

On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were 1.4 percent below their July 2017 estimates. However, building permits rose 4.2 percent over the same period last year. The rise in building permits was led by single-family unit authorizations that were at a rate of 869,000 units, a rise of 1.9 percent over the revised June figures, the data indicated.

According to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, the rise in single-family permits shows that homebuilders are pushing through new construction projects despite the headwinds of rising tariffs and costs.

“Despite significant cost headwinds, home builders are pushing through new construction projects. In fact, residential building permits increased 4.2 percent since this time last year,” Fleming said. “Permits for single-family homes increased 1.9 percent compared to the previous month, the largest monthly gain since October of 2017.”

Here's what else is happening in The Week Ahead:

  • NAHB Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, Tuesday, 10 a.m. ET
  • MBA Mortgage Apps 7:30 a.m. ET
  • NAR Existing Home Sales 10 a.m. ET
  • Fed Balance Sheet, 4:30 p.m. ET

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.

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