The Commerce Department reported this morning (July 18) that June housing starts rose 2.3% from the prior month to 1,467,000 and building permits dropped 7.5% to 1,406,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Both declined significantly on a year-to-year basis, with starts off 19.4% and permits were down 25.2% from June, 2006. Single-family housing starts were down only 0.2% from May; permits were down 4.1%.

Completions were off 6% from May to 1,470,000, with single-family completions down 6.3% to 1,226,000. On a year-over-year basis, total completions were down 28.2%.

Regionally, permits were up 3.4% from May to June in the Northeast but down 4.2% in the Midwest, down 10.6% in the South and down 1.9% in the West. On a year-over-year basis, permits were off 11.6% in the Northeast, 21.9% in the Midwest, 26.3% in the South and 29.8% in the West.

Starts were up in West (9%) and South (2.4%) from May to June but down in the Northeast (-2.4%) and the Midwest (-3.7%). Compared to June, 2006, starts were off 3.6% in the Northeast, 20.2% in the Midwest, 20.4% in the South and 22.5% in the West.