US housing market under the effect of hurricanes on cost of building materials

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US residential construction was almost unchanged in August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,180,000, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Housing starts were 1.4% higher than in August 2016.

Single-family home construction was slightly up in August, while multi-family starts declined from July. In the next months the building market will be affected by rebuilding and repairing homes that were damaged by hurricanes.

Regionally home construction rose in the US Midwest and West in August. Housing starts fell in the South and Northeast.

Builders’ confidence in the market for new single-family homes fell in September, while the August reading was revised downward. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the hurricanes have deepened builders’ concerns about the cost of building materials and labour availability.

Once the rebuilding of homes begins confidence in the housing market is expected to go back up to the high levels seen earlier this year.