Housing Starts Drop 5.3 Percent in June

Total housing starts dropped 5.3 percent in June to a seasonably adjusted annual rate of 1.850 million units, according to figures released by the Commerce Department. This was 11 percent below the pace of a year ago.

Single-family housing starts were down 6.5 percent for the month to a pace of 1.486 million units, a 13. 8 percent drop from the June 2005 pace. Multifamily housing construction was up 0.3 percent for the month to a seasonably adjusted pace of 364,000 units.

Three of four regions reported decreases in housing starts for the month. Construction of new homes and apartments was down 11.5 percent in the Northeast, 4.0 percent in the South and 10.2 percent in the West. Housing starts increased 3.0 percent in the Midwest in June following a large decline the previous month.

Issuance of total building permits decreased 4.3 percent in June to a seasonably adjusted annual rate of 1.862 million units, 14.9 percent below the pace of a year ago. Single-family permit issuance was down 6.3 percent on a national basis to a pace of 1.395 million units for the month, reflecting declines in all regions of the country. The pace of multifamily permit issuance was up 2.0 percent to a pace of 467,000 units, although this level was 6.2 percent below a year earlier.

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