The recent uptick in US building permits, driven mainly by the growth in applications in the American North East fizzled out with a sharp retreat. Building permits plunged by -16.30% month over month, missing expectations by a record and dropping by the widest margin since 2008 as the number fell to levels last seen in March. The expiration of a tax incentive was widely attributed as the reason behind the recent drop. Housing starts rose modestly, gaining 0.20% month over month even though the print missed expectations of 1.00%. Without further incentives to drive construction, the same sort of explosive growth witnessed in recent months will have been viewed as unsustainable and evidence of a potential pullback in store for the sector at large. Although stocks were initially weaker, they managed to recover modestly, rallying from earlier depths with the Dow Jones Industrial Average just -0.19% softer.
Housing Outlook Remains Mixed
Daily Analysis - 19/08/2015