6/20: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Housing starts slipped 0.9 percent in May, down 4.7 percent year-on-year

Housing starts fell 0.9 percent in May, and were also down 4.7 percent year-on-year, but both the two previous months were revised upwards.  Most of the May decline was due to a 6.4-percent drop for single-family starts.



Building permits edged up 0.3 percent in May, down 0.5 percent year-on-year

Building permits edged up 0.3 percent in May, with single-family permits rising 3.7 percent year-on-year, suggesting that builders are adjusting to a market demanding lower price points.  Still, overall building permits were down 0.5 percent year-on-year.



Mortgage applications fall 3.4 percent as rates rebound slightly

The Market Composite Index decreased 3.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with both purchase loans and refinance activity falling 4.0 percent.  Still, purchase loans were still up almost 4.0 percent year-on-year.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.14 percent from 4.12 percent.