Housing starts declined 5.1% month over month in August, while forward-looking building permits held steady with a slight decline of .9%, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday. This brings the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts to 1.4 million and permits to nearly 1.5 million.
Fueled by low interest rates and the recent migration to the suburbs, housing has been one of the few industries to bounce back in somewhat of a V-shaped recovery from the economic shutdown. In April, at the height of COVID-19 restrictions, housing starts fell to 934,000, marking the first time they fell below 1 million since 2015. Since then, housing starts have steadily climbed back to long-term equilibrium levels of 1.5 million.