June Housing Starts at 549k annualized were below the consensus estimate of 577k and vs 578k in May but shouldn’t be surprising considering other housing data points seen and the end of the home buying tax credit. Almost all of the decline from May was in the multi family category as single family was only down a touch, albeit a very low level (lowest since May ’09). Permits were 11k above expectations at 586k vs 574k in May, notwithstanding the expiration of the home buying tax credit. Regionally, starts rose in the South and West, ironically the areas with the biggest foreclosures and thus greatest competition but permits for future building in these areas didn’t rise. With an industry still saturated with existing homes and still lackluster demand, lower starts is what we need to see.
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