National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) officials recently commented on new data released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department, linking the June decline in housing starts to the increased implementation of tariffs this year.
The data showed total housing starts fell 12.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units. Within the overall number, single-family starts fell 9.1 percent to 858,000 units. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, dropped 19.8 percent to 315,000.
“We have been warning the administration for months that the ongoing increases in lumber prices stemming from both the tariffs and profiteering this year are having a strong impact on builders’ ability to meet growing consumer demand,” Randy Noel,
NAHB chairman and a custom home builder from LaPlace, Louisiana, said. “This is why we continue to urge senior officials to take leadership and resolve this issue.”
Combined single and multifamily housing starts fell in all regions of the country, per officials, noting starts fell 3 percent in the West, 9.1 percent in the South, 35.8 percent in the Midwest and 40 percent in the Northeast.
“The concern over material costs, especially lumber, is making it more difficult to build homes at competitive price points, particularly for newcomers entering the housing market,” Michael Neal, NAHB senior economist, said. “Moreover, the soft permit report does not suggest a significant increase in housing production in the near term. However, consumer demand for single-family housing continues to increase as the overall economy and labor market strengthens.”
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