As previously suggested, with fewer cash sales and mtg purchase apps down 10% vs last year seems doubtful sales do much.

With population growth what it is, ‘normal’ for this point in the cycle would be about double what we are seeing. In fact, we are now back to only what were the lows of prior cycles, and we have a lot more people now:

Homebuilders are being cautious as both starts and permits disappointed for August. But August is coming off a strong July.

Housing starts for August fell 14.4 percent, following a boost of 22.9 percent the month before. August’s pace of 0.956 million units was short of market expectations for 1.038 million units and was up 8.0 percent on a year-ago basis.

The multifamily component declined a monthly 31.7 after jumping 44.9 percent in July. The single-family component edged down 2.4 percent, following an 11.1 percent surge in July.

Building permits are oscillating, too. Permits decreased 5.6 percent in August, following an 8.6 percent boost in July. Monthly swings have largely been in the multifamily component. The single-family component has been in a modest downturn in recent months.

There has been a lot of volatility in housing data in recent months and the latest starts data likely will lead to some trimming of forecasts for third quarter GDP growth. The trend continues that housing strength is in the multifamily component.

Full size image