Housing Key To Presidential Election?
|Housing Starts Decline In June|
Housing starts in June cooled from the torrid levels posted earlier this year, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. Overall, the June construction rate was just above 1.8 million units, down 8.5% from May’s upwardly revised rate of 1.97 million.
Single-family housing starts fell 9.5% in June to a pace of 1.489 million. This was a 1.1% drop from the June 2003 pace, although single-family starts were up by 12.2% on a year-to-date basis.
The pace of multifamily housing starts decreased 3.7% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 units. This was 9.3% below June of last year, although multifamily starts still were up by about 6% on a year-to-date basis.
Construction of new homes and apartments fell in all four regions, posting declines of 3.5% in the Northeast, 11.5% in the Midwest, 3.1% in the South and 16.5% in the West. Permit issuance was down in all regions but the Northwest.
NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders says June’s performance was just a hiccup.
“”Mortgage interest rates have fallen back to below 6% since then. This certainly bodes well for housing in the coming months.In fact, we expect single-family starts will post an all-time high in 2004, surpassing last year’s record of 1.499 million units,” says Seiders. “The backlog of unused permits rose substantially in June, particularly in the single-family sector, as builders reassessed the financial market climate. This development should be a positive factor for housing starts in July.”