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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Barbara Ruszel Economist
Tel: 902-424-1848Email:

August 16, 2017

US residential construction permits, a leading indicator of new construction, decreased by 4.1 per cent in July 2017 compared to the revised June 2017 estimate, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,223,000 This is 4.1 per cent above the July 2016 estimate of 1,175,000. Compared to a year ago, permits for single unit structures were up 6.0 per cent, 2-4 units structures were unchanged, and 5+ units structures were down 13.1 per cent. 

Through the first seven months of the year, unadjusted building permits were up 6.5 per cent in 2017 compared to the first seven months of 2016, with increased starts in single unit and two-to-four units and decreased starts in five or more unit structures.

US housing starts in July 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,155,000 units. This is 4.8 per cent below the revised June 2017 estimate of 1,213,000 and 5.6 per cent below the July 2016 estimate of 1,223,000.

Through the first seven months of the year, unadjusted housing starts were up 2.4 per cent in 2017 over 2016, with growth in structures with one unit and a decline in both structures with two-to-four units and five or more units.

US housing starts are an important indicator for Nova Scotia's wood exports. Though not a perfect predictor, US housing starts and the value of Nova Scotia's wood exports follow similar directions over the long-term.

Source: US Census Bureau New Residential Construction

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