Construction of new homes in July built on the gains posted in June, although developers' plans for housing in the months ahead slipped a bit.
The Commerce Department reports ground was broken for privately-owned houses at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,211,000, up 2.1% from the revised June total of 1,186,000 and 5.6% above the rate posted a year earlier.
Starts on single-family homes were up 0.5% in July at a rate of 770,000 and a year-over-year advance of 1.3%. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 433,000 -- a gain of 8.3% and up 15.2% from July of last year.
Housing units authorized by building permits dipped 0.1% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,152,000, but is 0.9% above July 2015.
Permits for single-family homes fell 3.7% to a rate of 711,000, but a 2.7% gain from the year before. Authorizations for units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 411,000, a month-over-month rise of 6.5% but down 1.7% from a year earlier.
The complete report is available on the Commerce Department website.