Housing starts in August declined 11.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.283 million units (consensus 1.435 million).
Single-unit starts were down 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 941,000. There was better news on the permits front. Total building permits increased 6.9% to 1.543 million (Briefing.com consensus 1.442 million) with permits for single units up 2.0% to 949,000.
The key takeaway from the report is that starts were clearly weak in August, yet the strength in permits — a leading indicator — lends some hope that September will feature better news on the home construction front, which is needed given the tight supply of existing homes for sale.
Treasury yields turned higher in response.
The 2-yr note yield is up three basis points to 5.08% and the 10-yr note yield is up five basis points to 4.37%.
Elsewhere, oil prices climbed past $92.00/bbl, up 1.8% to $92.20/bbl.