Tuesday, June Housing Starts came in down 5.0% from May to a 549,000 annual rate. This was below expectations, but still up 15.1% from the low they hit in April 2009.
Most of the drop came from volatile multi-family starts. Single-family starts were down a mere 0.7%. Most significantly, housing completions shot up 26.2% in June, the biggest monthly gain going back to the late 1960’s. Builders clearly shifted focus from starting to finishing, as they pushed to close sales qualifying for the homebuyer tax credit. Finally, Building Permits were UP 2.1% for June, beating expectations, so things are looking up for the months ahead.