U.S. Census Bureau Reports Housing Starts Surpass Predictions

June housing starts rise 14.6 percent and new housing permits rise 2.7 percent.

July 20, 2011
CDR Staff
Forecasts & Statistics

The Commerce Department's U.S. Census Bureau has released data on new residential construction for June 2011 which show results are better than predicted. According to the data, released on July 19, housing starts surged 14.6 percent in June, surpassing private-sector expectations of a 2.7-percent increase. Permits for new housing units also beat expectations, with an 8.2-percent jump in May followed by a 2.5 percent increase in June, the Census Bureau reports. Private-sector analysts had expected a 2.3-percent drop in permits from May to June.

"While today's new construction report is encouraging, the housing market remains fragile," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says. "If America fails to meet its obligations, it would lead to a sharp decline in household wealth and higher mortgage rates, which would profoundly damage the housing market's recovery. Now is the time for members of both parties to make tough choices and take a balanced approach to solve this problem, so we can focus on getting more Americans back to work."

According to the Census Bureau, private construction starts were at an annual rate of 629,000 in June, well above the 549,000 that analysts estimated. Single family construction starts increased 9.4 percent in June compared to the previous month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 453,000 units. According to reports, this was the second highest rate in the last 12 months, just shy of November’s 454,000 units.