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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Recover To Expansion High
by Tom Moeller  July 18, 2012

The housing market continues to respond to low interest rates, however slowly. June housing starts rose 6.9% to 760,000 (23.6% y/y) from 711,000 in May, revised from 708,000. The latest level was the highest of the economic recovery, although it remained nearly two-thirds below the 2005 average. Expectations had been for 735,000 starts in June.

Higher starts of multi-family units led last month's improvement with a 12.8% gain (28.5% y/y) to 221,000. Starts of single-family homes rose 4.7% (21.7% y/y) to 539,000. The performance amongst regions remained mixed with only the West and the Northeast showing improvement.

Building permits fell 3.7% to 755,000 (+19.3% y/y). Single-family permits ticked up 0.6% (19.7% y/y) but multi-family permits decreased 10.9% (+18.6 y/y).

The housing starts figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

Household Financial Stability: Who Suffered the Most from the Crisis from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Jun May Apr Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Total 760 711 747 23.6 612 586 554
 Single-Family 539 515 504 21.7 434 471 442
 Multi-Family 221 196 243 28.5 178 114 112
Starts By Region
 Northeast 77 63 80 11.6 68 72 61
 Midwest 101 109 125 -19.8 103 97 95
 South 363 379 395 26.9 309 296 281
 West 219 160 147 63.4 131 120 117
Building Permits 755 784 723 19.3 624 604 582
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