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In The News:

Housing Starts Grow 1.7% in July

Housing starts were in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, 1.7 percent above June, but 7 percent below July 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 432,000, 4.2 percent below June. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 95,000.

"Builders are very reluctant to build more homes in view of the current state of the economy and weak buyer demand," said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Bloomfield, MI.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 565,000. This is 3.1 percent below the revised June rate of 583,000 and is 3.7 percent below the July 2009 estimate of 587,000.

Single-family authorizations in July were at a rate of 416,000; this is 1.2 percent below the revised June figure of 421,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 129,000 in July.

Privately-owned housing completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 587,000. This is 32.8 percent below the revised June estimate of 874,000 and is 25.4 percent below the July 2009 rate of 787,000. Single-family housing completions in July were at a rate of 490,000; this is 27.5 percent below the revised June rate of 676,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 91,000.

“Right now the housing market is essentially in a holding pattern,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “As our latest member surveys have indicated, builders are seeing greater hesitancy among potential home buyers who are uncertain about what’s in store for the economy and jobs going forward. That said, favorable home buying conditions including historically low mortgage rates and low house prices should help spur additional demand as the job market gradually improves later this year.”

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