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Economy in Brief

July Housing Starts Down Further
by Tom Moeller August 16, 2006

Housing starts fell for the fourth straight month in July, by 2.5% to 1.795M units. The decline slightly outpaced Consensus expectations for drop to 1.81M starts.

Total housing starts in July were 20.8% below the peak this past January.

Single-family starts fell 2.3% last month to 1.453M, down 20.0% from the January peak. Multi family starts also fell another 3.4%.

By region, single family housing starts dropped 9.5% (-25.8% y/y) in the West. In the Midwest starts also fell by 2.3% (-18.9% y/y) and single family starts in the South slipped 0.5% (-9.1% y/y). In the Northeast stats rose 12.2% (-26.3% y/y).

Building permits fell for the sixth consecutive month, dropping another 6.5%.

The July 2006 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices from the Federal Reserve Board is available here.

Housing Starts (000s, AR) July June Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total 1,795 1,841 -13.3% 2,073 1,950 1,854
  Single-family 1,452 1,486 -16.6% 1,719 1,604 1,505
  Multi-family 343 355 3.9% 354 345 349
Building Permits 1,747 1,869 -20.8% 2,159 2,058 1,888
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