Money Matters - Simplified

Housing starts drop, completions rise

Washington -- Privately owned housing starts dropped 5 percent in June, half the rate of decline registered a month ago, the U.S. Commerce Department said.

The 549,000 starts in the month was a decline from May's revised estimate of 578,000.

The figure released Tuesday comes on the heels of a National Association of Home Builder's report that said business confidence among builders had fallen to its lowest level since April 2009.

The Commerce Department said housing starts were 5.8 percent below June 2009, while building permits issued predicting construction activity down the road, rose 2.1 percent above May's revised figure of 574,000.

As with housing starts, the figure is lower than June a year ago, when 600,000 permits were issued.

Completed housing projects jumped in June, rising 26.2 percent above May and 11 percent above June 2009.

In the month, 676,000 single-family homes and 202,000 multi-unit structures -- with five units or more -- were completed, Commerce said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International.

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