Housing Riddle: Starts Dropped in June, but Foreclosures Did Too

Housing starts and building permits unexpectedly fell in June, suggesting the housing market recovery was struggling to get back on track after stalling in late 2013. Groundbreaking declined 9.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual 893,000 million unit-pace, the lowest since September, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast starts rising to a 1.02 million-unit rate last month. Housing has been constrained by higher mortgage rates. A shortage of properties for sale has pushed up prices, reducing affordability for many. Groundbreaking for single-family homes, the largest part of the market, tumbled 9.0 percent in June to a 575,000-unit pace, the lowest since November 2012. However, in a sign of the longer-term housing recovery, 107,194 U.S. properties had a foreclosure filing in Juneā€”the lowest level since July 2006, according to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure sales and analytics company.

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