U.S. homebuilding fell to a nine-month low in June and permits declined for a third straight month, dealing a blow to the housing market as it struggles with an acute shortage of properties available for sale.
Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.173 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. That was the lowest level since September 2017.
The percent drop was the biggest since November 2016. Data for May was revised down to show starts rising at a 1.337 million-unit rate instead of the previously reported 1.350 million-unit rate. Starts fell in all four regions last month.
Building permits dropped 2.2 percent to a rate of 1.273 million units, also the lowest level since September 2017.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts falling to a pace of 1.320 million units last month and permits rising to a rate of 1.330 million units.