US home construction falls 5.1% in August after gains

WASHINGTON — U.S. housing construction fell 5.1% in August after three months of strong gains as home builders mounted a rebound following a pandemic-induced shutdown in March and April.

The Commerce Department reported today that new homes were started at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.42 million last month after a 17.9% surge in July.

The August drop was bigger than expected but still left housing construction 51.6% above the low hit in April.

A builders’ survey of sentiment this week found strong optimism that home building is on the upswing.