Single-family housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 770,000 in July, according to new residential construction data released by the Commerce Department Tuesday morning. July's reading marks a meager 0.52% increase from June's downward-revised rate of 766,000 and a 1.3% gain year-over-year. July was the third consecutive month of increases for one-unit starts.

Single-family starts decreased significantly in the Northeast during July, dropping -23.9% to a pace of 54,000 from June's 71,000. One-unit starts increased month-over-month in the South (3.9%) and West (4.8%), but the only region to not post a decrease in starts year-over-year was the South (10%).

Total housing permits, the leading indicator for future starts, decreased -0.1% overall in July, due to a -3.7% decrease in permits issued for single family homes. The dip in single-family permits indicates that starts in August could decline, but July's 711,000 permits issued still marked a 2.4% increase year-over-year. All regions posted a decline in permits for one-unit structures in July, most significantly in the Northeast (-12.1%) and West (-5.8%). Permits issued for multifamily structures with five units or more increased 6.5% month-over-month but registered a -1.7% decline from July 2015 levels.

Total privately-owned housing completions dipped -8.3% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,026,000. The decline is primarily due to a large decline in completions of multifamily structures of 5 units or more, which fell -24.5% from June. Single-family home completions posted a marginal -0.4% decrease month-over-month to 743,000, due to a -24.6% decrease in 1-unit completions in the Northeast, and a -8.0% decrease in the Midwest. Year-over-Year, completions of single-family homes are up most in the Midwest (24.8%), and the South (21.2%), while the Northeast region changed 0% from the rate of one-unit completions seen in July 2015.

Read the full release from the Commerce Department here>>