June U.S. Housing Starts Down 0.9% from Previous Month

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June housing starts in the U.S. fell 0.9% compared with May levels, according to the monthly housing start report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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June housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,253,000, down from the revised May estimate of 1,265,000.

However, June starts increased 6.2% on a year-over-year basis, up from June 2018’s rate of 1,180,000.

Single-family starts hit a rate of 847,000, up 3.5% from the May’s 818,000.

Meanwhile, the rate for units in buildings with five units or more reached 396,000.

Building Permits

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,220,000 in June, marking a decrease of 6.1% from May’s 1,299,000. June 2019 building permits also declined 6.6% on a year-over-year basis from June 2018’s rate of 1,306,000.

Permits for single-family homes jumped 0.4% from the previous month, rising to a rate of 813,000.

Permits for units in buildings with five units or more reached 360,000, according to the report.

Housing Completions

Privately owned housing completions reached an annual rate of 1,161,000 for June, according to the Census and HUD report.

The June completions figure marked a 4.8% drop from the May total and a 3.7% drop on a year-over-year basis.

In addition, single-family housing completions, at 870,000 in June, fell 1.8% from the previous month. The June rate for buildings with five units reached 283,000.

Pending Home Sales

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales increased 1.1% in May over the previous month.

NAR’s Pending Homes Sales Index, which is based on contract signings, jumped 1.1% to 105.4, up from 104.3 in April.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, pointed to lower mortgage rates in explaining the uptick in sales.

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“Rates of 4% and, in some cases even lower, create extremely attractive conditions for consumers,” Yun said in an NAR release. “Buyers, for good reason, are anxious to purchase and lock in at these rates.”

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