Housing Starts Fall 9.9 Percent in June

A 26.2 percent slowdown in multifamily starts contributed to an overall 9.9 percent decline in housing starts in June, though the total is still up 10.4 percent from a year ago. Multifamily starts fell to a ten-month low, though single-family starts, which make up 70 percent of all construction, fell just 0.8 percent since May. Permits to build housing were down 7.5 percent from May but up 16.1 percent over the year. IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport says the data is disappointing, as both single-family and multifamily declined for the quarter and multifamily permits slowed as well. He notes, however, that demand is still strong and builders cannot keep up with it, so prices will remain up and more builders will join the ranks. Meanwhile the National Association of Home Builders' housing index rose for the third month in a row despite an increase in average interest rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, to 4.5 percent from 3.35 percent in May. The report shows rising confidence among home builders, but Bob Walters of Quicken loans says “new construction is leveling off,” and the interest rate rise has diminished demand somewhat, but over the next few months the market “will grow at a healthy pace.”

From "Housing Starts Fall 9.9 Percent in June"
USA Today (07/17/13) Schmit, Julie

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