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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Fall Led By Multi-family
by Tom Moeller  July 17, 2013

Housing starts during June fell 9.9% to 836,000 (+10.4% y/y) and reversed their May improvement to 928,000, initially reported as 914,000. The decline disappointed expectations for improvement to 950,000 starts in the Action Economics survey. Starts of multi-family units led the way lower to 245,000 from 332,000 (+7.9% y/y). Starts of single-family homes slipped 0.8% to 591,000 (+11.5% y/y) following May's 0.5% uptick.

By region, starts in the Northeast fell 12.1% to 94,000 (+20.5% y/y). In the South starts declined 12.0% to 424,000 (+14.9% y/y) while starts in the Midwest were off 7.4% to 126,000 (+29.9% y/y). Starts in the West fell 5.4% to 192,000 (-9.9% y/y). 

Building permits fell another 7.5% last month to 911,000 (+16.1% y/y). It was the third decline in four months. Permits to build single-family homes edged up 0.6% to 624,000 (+24.6% y/y), the high for the economic recovery. Permits to build multi-family units fell 21.4% to 287,000 (+1.1% y/y).

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

The Semiannual Policy Report To Congress by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is available here.

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Total 836 928 852 10.4 781 612 586
 Single-Family 591 596 593 11.5 534 434 471
 Multi-Family 245 332 259 7.9 247 178 114
Starts By Region
 Northeast 94 107 79 20.5 78 68 72
 Midwest 126 136 154 29.9 129 103 97
 South 424 482 412 14.9 400 309 296
 West 192 203 207 -9.9 173 132 120
Building Permits 911 985 1,005 20.8 800 624 604
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