Mixed Bag: Housing Construction Jumps, but Building Permits Dip

The housing market recorded a mixed bag of developments this month with industry data reflecting both better-than-forecasted construction numbers but a dip in projected construction in the near future.

Housing starts—the number of new homes on which construction was begun—jumped more than six percent last month, even amid still-high building material prices and the residual climate of uncertainty surrounding the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic.

Yet building permits for future home construction were down more than five percent, a sign of at least short-term hesitancy on the part of builders even as overall construction numbers were elevated.

Fannie Mae economist Mark Palim told Reuters that industry reports “point to builders delaying or turning down orders to allow shortages to ease and to catch up to a growing construction backlog.”