United States construction is up 6.5%

October 9, 2018 1:55 pm

United States construction is up 6.5% a year to August 2018, while new home sales rose 3.5%, new figures show.

The construction increase to an annual rate of $1.32 trillion covers home building and commercial construction. Residential building was up 4.1% year-on-year, while non-residential building was up 6.5%.

United States construction is up 6.5% and close to record high

It follows a 0.2% rise in July and is just short of May’s record high. That is according to the construction figures from the Commerce Department.

Sales for new homes increased 3.5% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000, the U.S. Commerce Department data shows.

Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), says, “New home sales have ticked up in August, due to positive demographics and a strong overall economy. However, housing affordability remains a serious concern. Builders must manage supply-side costs and stiff regulatory hurdles to keep prices competitive.”

There are also worries that the latest round of U.S. tariffs levied on China include building materials. This, combined with labor shortages, is likely to cause prices to rise.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz adds, “Housing affordability has taken a toll on new home sales over the summer, and there could be market volatility in the months ahead as communities grapple with the aftereffects of Hurricane Florence. Still, we expect the overall housing market to grow this year as demand continues to increase among millennials and other newcomers.”

The main image is from Pixabay.com.

Sources: https://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/press-releases/2018/09/new-home-sales-rise-in-august.aspx and https://www.census.gov/construction/c30/pdf/totsa.pdf.