The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in June rose 14.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000 units. Single-family starts increased 9.4%. Multifamily starts rose 30.4%. Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, rose 2.5% to an annual rate of 624,000 units.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo monthly housing market index rose two points in July to 15. An index reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market.
Retail sales rose 0.4% for the week ending July 16, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 4.5%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending July 15 rose 15.5%. Refinancing applications increased 23.1%. Purchase volume fell 0.1%.
Existing home sales fell 0.8% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million units from a revised 4.81 million units in May. The inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 3.3% to 3.77 million, a 9.5-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 9.1-month supply in May.
The index of leading economic indicators â€” designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months â€” rose 0.3% in June, following a 0.8% increase in May.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 to 418,000 for the week ending July 16. Continuing claims for the week ending July 9 fell by 50,000 to 3.7 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on new home sales on July 26, durable goods orders on July 27 and gross domestic product on July 29.