Housing starts fell 1.5% in July, according to Commerce Department
data, reverting back to declines after a huge gain in June.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, starts decreased to 604,000 from 613,000 for June, which was revised downward 16,000. July starts were up about 10% from 550,000 a year earlier.
Analysts polled by Econoday projected
housing starts to come in at 600,000 with a range of estimates between 574,000 and 635,000.
In a joint release, the Census Bureau
and Department of Housing and Urban Development
said single-family starts fell 5% in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 425,000 units, down from a revised 447,000 for June.
July's decline continues the wide gyrations seen in housing starts this year and follows a 14.6% gain the prior month, which was the largest increase since January. After the gain in the first month of 2011, starts dropped 22.5%
in February, which was the largest monthly decline since March 1984.
Building permits in July fell 3.2% to an annual rate of 597,000 from a revised 617,000 for the prior month. Permits for new homes in July were about 3.8% higher than a year earlier.
Write to Jason Philyaw
Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw