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Economy in Brief

Housing Starts Off 20% Y/Y
by Tom Moeller September 19, 2006

Housing starts in August fell hard for the sixth month this year to 1.665M units. The 6.0% m/m decline outpaced Consensus expectations for a drop to 1.75M, lowered starts 19.8% below last August and left the latest level 26.5% below the series' peak reached this past January.

Single-family starts fell 5.9% last month to 1.36M, off 25.0% from the January peak while multi family starts dropped 6.7% for the third straight monthly decline.

By region single family housing starts in the West fell 4.4% m/m (-33.4% y/y) and in the Midwest starts fell 12.9% (-28.7% y/y). Single family starts in the South also fell by 6.1% (-9.9% y/y) but in the Northeast starts rose for the second consecutive month after a one-third drop during June (-19.3% y/y).

Building permits fell for the seventh consecutive month, off 2.3%. Permits to start singe family homes were even weaker and fell 3.5% (-25.0% y/y).

Beyond Neighborhood Revitalization from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston can be found here.

Housing Starts (000s, AR) August July Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total 1,665 1,772 -19.8% 2,073 1,950 1,854
  Single-family 1,360 1,445 -20.6% 1,719 1,604 1,505
  Multi-family 305 327 -15.7% 354 345 349
Building Permits 1,722 1,763 -21.9% 2,159 2,058 1,888
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