Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Homebuilding Permits Rise More Than Estimates

- Housing Starts for May fell to 1474K versus estimates of 1472K and 1506K in April.

- Building Permits for May rose to 1501K versus estimates of 1473K and 1457K in April.

BOTTOM LINE: Housing starts in the US fell in May, signaling the slump in home construction will continue to depress growth, Bloomberg reported. Housing starts are down 24% from May of last year. Starts fell 20% in the West and 1.6% in the South. Start rose 16% in both the Northeast and Midwest. The share of total mortgages entering foreclosure increased slightly to .58% in the first quarter from .54% in the fourth quarter. Starts will remain muted until further inventory reduction occurs. I continue to believe home sales are stabilizing at relatively high levels by historic standards.

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