Several reports related to the housing sector were released over this past week. Housing continues to be beleaguered.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported building permits for June at 1,685,000 modestly higher than consensus estimates of 1,680,000.
This report was tempered by housing starts for June, which came in at 1,559,000, lower than consensus estimates of 1,585,000. Housing starts for June declined -2.0%, which followed a downturn of -11.9% for May.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index also surprised to the downside. This survey asks home builders to rate current conditions such as sales of single-family homes, prospects for sales activity, and traffic of prospective home buyers, then scores each component in structuring their index.
A score over 50 indicates that builders view sales conditions as good; below 50 indicates poor sales conditions exist.
The NAHB reported for July its survey result of 55 that, while over 50, was materially under consensus estimates of 65 and well below June’s survey of 67.