US Housing Market August & Softwood Lumber Prices Sept: 2022

US housing starts and US new home sales for August 2022 sharply reversed the downward trend seen in the past few months since mortgage and interest rate increases hit the housing market.

While it is true that a slow-down is apparent in both construction and home buying activity, it is important to note that month-over-month starts have indeed dropped, however new building activity is flat compared to one year ago.

Total housing starts in the US for August 2022 jumped +12.2% to 1.575 million compared to July, and were down -0.1% from the August 2021 rate of 1.404 million.Data for July was revised lower, from the previously reported 1.446 million units. Indeed, total starts year-to-date are down only -1.4% compared to the first eight months of 2021.

Meanwhile, building permits dropped significantly – which is normal for this time of year – down -10% to 1.517 million from the revised July rate of 1.685 million. This is -14.4% below the August 2021 rate of 1.772 million. Data for July was revised quite a bit higher, from the previously reported 1.655 million units. During the first eight months of this year there was a -4% decrease in building permits from the same period in 2021.