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Multifamily Dampens Housing Starts in June

Housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 549,000 in June, 5 percent below the revised May estimate and 5.8 percent below June 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Single-family housing starts in June were at a rate of 454,000, 0.7 percent below May. The June rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 88,000.

All four regions posted declines in overall housing production relative to May, with an 11.3 percent reduction in the Northeast, a 6.9 percent decline in the Midwest, a 2.4 percent decline in the South, and a 5.9 percent decline in the West. 

Year-to-date, most regions are up from last year. In the Northeast, housing starts are up 17.4 percent year-to-date; the Midwest is up 11.9 percent; the South is up 17.9 percent; and the West is up 4.8 percent from last year.

"As our most recent member surveys have indicated, builders remain very cautious in light of the sluggish pace of the economic recovery and the hesitancy they are seeing among potential home buyers,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, MI. “However, today’s report is actually somewhat encouraging, because it indicates that single-family production is stabilizing following an expected lull that occurred with the end of the home buyer tax credit program.” 

Housing units authorized by building permits in June – an indicator of future housing construction – were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 586,000, 2.1 percent above May and 2.3 percent below June 2009. Single-family authorizations were at a rate of 421,000, 3.4 percent below May. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 145,000.

Housing completions in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 886,000, 26.2 percent above May and 11 percent above the June 2009 rate. Single-family housing completions in June were at a rate of 676,000, 31.3 percent above the May rate. The June rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 202,000.

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