Starts for single-family homes increased 1.7% in July, while overall permits to build privately owned housing units declined 1.8% and housing starts decreased 1%, according to the Commerce Department's Bureau of the Census data on new residential construction.
Despite the overall decrease, total permits have risen 12.4% from their low in April, after plummeting a total of 78% between September 2005 and April 2009. Additionally, total starts have increased 21.3%, after falling 78.9% from their peak in January 2006 to their low in April 2009.
"Monthly data for housing activity are volatile, but today's nominal decline stands as a reminder that the economy is still fragile," says U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank. "Looking at the big picture, we are confident that we've created the stability necessary to turn things around. As we double Recovery Act spending in the second half of the year, and with every new project we start, we are one step closer to getting there."
SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Department