After weak home sales data and re-weakening in mortgage applications (but a modest recovery in homebuilder sentiment), expectations were for a slowdown in starts and permits but the June prints were shockingly bad.
Housing Starts dropped 0.9% MoM (worse than the 0.7% expected) but Building Permits plunged 6.1% MoM - the worst drop since March 2016.
This occurred despite a collapse in mortgage rates during the reporting period.
This is the 6th month in a row of YoY declines in Building Permits...
Under the surface, multi-family starts tumbled 9.4% MoM as single-family jumped 3.5% from 818K to 847K
And multi-family permits collapsed 20.7%, from 454K to 360K, the lowest since Feb 2017.
Two of four regions posted an increase in housing starts last month, led by a 31.3% rise in the Northeast and a 27.1% advance in the Midwest. New construction declined 9.2% in the South and 4.9% in the West.
Get back to work Mr. Powell!!