Housing starts were UP 1.7% for July to a 546,000 annual pace, but this was below expectations and all the gain came from a big boost in multi-family starts. Single-family starts were off 4.2%, declining for the third straight month. Looking at the market further out, we saw new building permits down 3.1% for July to a 565,000 annual rate.
Another good week for the housing market. The S&P/Case Shiller home price index was up for the third month in a row and the rate of annual decline fell for the sixth month in a row! Price increases were reported in 18 of 20 metro areas measured. Many now feel this data indicates the worst of the price declines are behind us. David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said: "These figures continue to support an indication of stabilization in national real estate values."