In a dismal summer for economic stats, housing continues to be the bright spot.
Housing starts increased 6.9 percent from May and are up 23.6 percent from June of last year. Permits declined 3.7 percent from May, but are up 19.3 percent year over year.
Most importantly, single-family starts are up 4.7 percent sequentially, and single family permits were also up, by 0.6 percent.
These numbers are consistent with strong order trends by publicly traded homebuilders, which appear to be capturing a larger portion of the new housing "pie." Beazer, for example, reported June preliminary orders up 28 percent, Meritage up 49 percent.