In June, US housing starts rebounded by 6.9% M/M to a total level of 760 000, while the consensus was looking for a slightly smaller gain, to 745 000. Housing starts are now again at the highest level since October 2008.
The breakdown shows that strength was based in multi-family starts (12.8% M/M), while singlefamily starts rose by a more moderate 4.7% M/M. The regional details were more mixed as the rebound was based in the West (36.9% M/M) and Northeast (22.2% M/M), while starts fell in the Midwest (-7.3% M/M) and South (-4.2% M/M). After reaching its highest level since September 2008, building permits, dropped by 3.7% M/M to a total level of 755 000, while the consensus was looking for a softer decline, to 765 000. The decline in building permits was entirely due to a 10.9% M/M drop in multi-family ones, while single-family permits rose by 0.6% M/M. Also here, weakness was based in the South (-8.0% M/M) and Midwest (-0.8% M/M).
Housing under construction rose by 2.1% M/M and housing completed increased by 2.6% M/M in June. The US housing data continue to show big month on month volatility, but the underlying trend is encouraging. Both housing starts and building permits are hovering around the cyclical highs, providing further evidence that the US housing market is finally starting to recover.