Housing Starts Down Stateside

U.S. home building fell for a second straight month in June and permits dropped to a two-year low, suggesting the housing market was still struggling despite lower mortgage rates.

Figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Commerce Department showed housing starts decreased 0.9% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.253 million units last month as a rebound in the construction of single-family housing units was offset by a plunge in multi-family home building.

May information was revised slightly down to show home building falling to a pace of 1.265 million units, instead of to a rate of 1.269 million units as previously reported.

Economists had forecast housing starts dipping to a pace of 1.261 million units in June.

Single-family home building, accounting for the largest share of the housing market, increased 3.5% to a rate of 847,000 units in June, partially recouping some of May’s sharp drop. Single-family housing starts fell in the Northeast, but rose in the Midwest, West and South.

What's more, building permits tumbled 6.1% south of the border to a rate of 1.220 million units in June, the lowest level since May 2017