Single-family housing starts slipped 9.5% in June as construction activity in the Midwest and the West fell 16% and 20%, respectively.The U.S. Census Bureau reported that single-family starts fell from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.65 million in May to 1.49 million in June. Interest rates on the 30-year mortgage hit 6.34% during June, but housing starts rose by 1.6% in the Northeast and fell by only 1.3% in the South. National Association of Home Builders economist Michael Carliner noted that the market is starting to get soft in the Midwest, but that in the West construction activity has been very strong. In many areas, builders are pressed to capacity, Mr. Carliner said. On an unadjusted basis, the number of single-family homes under construction hit an all-time record of 867,500 at the end of June. Meanwhile, multifamily starts (five or more units) rose 4.1% to 281,000 units in June, compared with 270,000 units in May.

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