Starts, building permits rise in August

Permits for building increased in August.
Permits for building increased in August.
Construction equipment users may have gotten a boost in August, according to numbers released recently.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said overall building permits were up at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.8 percent in August when compared to July. Still, this is 6.7 percent lower than seen during the same time last year.

Also, August housing starts were 10.5 percent higher than numbers seen in July. The Commerce Department noted this was far greater than forecasts put forward by the private sector.

"Today's data on housing activity is welcome positive news," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. "We're headed in the right direction, but we know that the housing market is tied directly to jobs and incomes."

However, much of the gains were seen in the multifamily sector, which may not prove beneficial to those who use construction equipment to create single-family homes.

A recent report from the National Association of Home Builders noted that confidence among contractors regarding consumer interest in single-family homes remains at low levels.