In the US, both housing starts and permits surprised on the upside of expectations in June. Housing starts jumped by 14.6% M/M from a downwardly revised 549 000 to 629 000, while the consensus was looking for only a slight increase. The rebound was led by multi-family starts (30.4% M/M), but also single-family starts (9.4% M/M) rose significantly in June. Housing starts are at the highest level in six months led by a rebound in the multi-family sector, but housing starts remain at depressed levels as the sector faces fierce competition from lower priced existing homes. Building permits rose by 2.5% M/M to a total level of 624 000 in June, while the consensus was looking for a 2.3% M/M decline. Also in the permits, strength was led in the multifamily sector (6.9% M/M), while single family permits rose only marginally (0.2% M/M). Housing under construction rose by 1.0% M/M, while housing completed dropped by 1.7% M/M. While these figures are encouraging, it is too early to speak of a sustained recovery as both housing starts and permits are only at the top of recent record low levels.