Housing Starts Slide to Lowest Level in 8 Months

Housing constructionAdding to worries of another housing market downturn, the Commerce Department today said housing starts slumped to their lowest level in eight months in June.
But an unexpected jump in housing permits – a harbinger of future activity – added a positive to an otherwise sobering report.
Housing starts sank 5.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 549,000 units, the lowest since October. Market analysts expected a 580,000-unit rate. Compared to June a year ago, starts declined 5.8 percent, the biggest decrease since November.
May housing starts were revised downward to a 14.9 decline. It was previously reported as a 10.0 percent drop.
But housing permits in June surprisingly increased 2.1 percent, following a 5.9 percent drop in May. Analysts expected a drop to a 570,000-unite rate.
Since the expiration of homebuyer tax credits April 30, sales and construction activity in single family homes have sharply decreased.
Groundbreaking for new single-family homes slid 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 454,000 units, the lowest level since May 2009, according to the Commerce Department.
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