The June report on housing starts gave another welcome boost to the economy, coming in at the highest levels in four years. New building permits were up 23.6% over this time a year ago. The results beat analysts’ expectations, contrasting the increasingly dismal jobs reports over the past several months.
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Single family home construction comprised the bulk of new permits at 71% of housing starts last month. The multi-family home segment is the more volatile one and it came in up 12.8% in June.
Future indications of new home building were not as strong, however. Estimates for new permits were for an annual level of 778,000 but the numbers disappointed, coming in at an annual level of only 755,000.
Housing has been one of the weakest parts of the economy but recent reports are showing momentum is building there and also in manufacturing even as it continues to slow in other areas.
Confidence of homebuilders took a big leap in July coming in at a reading of 35, up six points. Any reading above 50 signifies positive sentiment.
Overall, the average annual level of homebuilding per year since 1959 has been around 1.5 million. So, although the new report shows a vast improvement, we still have a ways to go before proclaiming the housing market