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U.S. home-building falls for 3rd straight month, HUD report shows

By Sommer Brokaw
The Northeast saw the greatest decline -- nearly 15 percent since June. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
The Northeast saw the greatest decline -- nearly 15 percent since June. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. home-building fell a third straight month in July amid rising labor costs, data from the U.S. Census and the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed Friday.

Housing starts dropped 4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.191 million, marking the third straight month of a decline in new home-building.

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A drop in construction of multi-dwelling projects of five or more units was largely to blame amid labor shortages and rising material costs.

Multi-dwelling projects that account for most new construction fell 17.2 percent compared to a 1.3 percent increase for single-family homes.

Regionally, the Northeast had the sharpest decline in housing starts, falling 13.8 percent from June. Building permits also fell 3.3 percent from the prior month in the region.

A tight job market has caused labor shortages and tariffs on Canadian lumber and some Chinese materials, such as quartz and granite, have increased materials cost.

Overall, there was still some positive signs for the future, since residential building permits increased 8.4 percent from June to an annual pace of 1.336 million.

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