Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Single-family housing starts dropped a greater-than-expected 17.2 percent in May, reflecting the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit and following a string of four consecutive monthly gains. Before the plummet, the annual pace of starts had climbed to its strongest since August 2008. The current pace of 468,000 units, however, is now its weakest since May 2009. By region, May’s decline was led by the South, where activity fell 26.8 percent. Activity dipped 10.9 percent in the Midwest but only declined about 2 percent in the Northeast and West. Single-family starts still sit 15 percent above their year-ago pace, but this is down from near-50 percent growth reported between February and April.
Building permits for single-family homes also fell in May (9.9 percent) and are now up just 3.1 percent over the last year, down from average year-over-year growth of 40 percent in the first quarter.