Single-family housing starts, the largest segment of the market shrank 6.2 percent to 821 thousand. In addition, the volatile multi-family segment declined 6.1 percent to 385 thousand. Starts slumped in the Midwest (-16.2 percent to 155 thousand), the West (-16 percent to 284 thousand) and the South (-2.9 percent to 645 thousand) but rose 12.9 percent in the Northeast (to 131 thousand).
Building permits increased 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1260 thousand, more than market expectations of a 2.8 percent rise. Building permits for multi-family units jumped 18.3 percent to 401 thousand while single-family authorizations dropped 1.1 percent to 823 thousand. Permits went up in the West (16.7 percent to 315 thousand), the Northeast (15.5 percent to 134 thoudand) and the South (6 percent to 619 thousand) while fell 22 percent to 192 thousand in the Midwest.