Monthly building permits up 2.7%, year-over-year down 32.4%

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Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 579,000, 2.7 percent above the revised July rate of 564,000, but 32.4 percent below the August 2008 estimate of 857,000, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today, Sept. 17. Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 462,000, 0.2 percent below the revised July figure of 463,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 98,000 in August.

Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 598,000, 1.5 percent above the revised July estimate of 589,000, but 29.6 percent below the August 2008 rate of 849,000. Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 479,000, 3.0 percent below the revised July figure of 494,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 115,000.

Privately-owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000, 5.5 percent below the revised July estimate of 804,000 and 25.3 percent below the August 2008 rate of 1,018,000. Single-family housing completions in August were at a rate of 489,000, 1.6 percent below the revised July figure of 497,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 256,000.