Single-family housing starts and building permits dropped from May to June, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today. And housing starts, building permits and housing completions for all privately owned housing units also declined from May to June. In May, single-family building permits were also down from April totals, as were single-family housing starts. And single-family housing completions increased from April to May.

Building permits for single-family homes were at a rate of 1.51 million in June, which is 6.2 percent (with a 0.7 percent error margin) less than the May number of 1.65 million. Single-family housing starts were at 1.49 million in June, which is 9.5 percent (plus or minus 7 percent) below the May total. But single-family housing completions showed a 1.5 percent gain (with a 10.2 percent error margin) from May to June, the agencies reported.

The number of building permits for privately owned housing units dipped 8.2 percent (plus or minus 0.8 percent) from May to June, but is 2.8 percent (plus or minus 1 percent) above the June 2003 estimate. Privately owned housing starts dropped 8.5 percent (plus or minus 7.1 percent) from May 2004 to June 2004, and fell 2.6 percent (plus or minus 6.1 percent) below the June 2003 rate. Privately owned housing completions dropped 3.9 percent (with a 9.1 percent error margin) from May 2004 to June 2004, but were up 11.5 percent (plus or minus 9.2 percent) from June 2003 numbers.

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in were up from April to May, while privately owned housing starts and privately owned housing completions dropped from April to May.

New privately owned housing-unit starts slipped 16.5 percent from May to June in the West–the most dramatic drop in all regions of the country. The number of new privately owned housing units completed dropped about 11 percent from May to June in the Midwest, and about 9.2 percent in the South, the report states.

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