Home production slows

WASHINGTON — Homebuilders slowed their pace of construction by a sharp 0.8% in August, the second straight monthly decline. A steep drop in multifamily construction more than offset a gain in single-family-home building.

The overall drop occurred even though would-be homebuyers face both a shortage of properties for sale and escalating prices. Those two forces would normally help spur faster home construction. But builders point to a shortage of skilled workers and rising land costs for development.

The tepid sales numbers suggest that it has become more profitable for companies to build a smaller number of homes for the affluent than to ramp up construction for a broader swath of buyers and renters. – See more.

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