Single-family housing starts edged down 0.2% in June as housing construction appeared to be stabilizing in the face of tighter credit standards and huge inventories of unsold homes.The U.S. Census Bureau reported that single-family housing starts were nearly unchanged, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.15 million in June, from the level of the previous month. However, the June report shows downward revisions in the April and May start numbers totaling 33,000 units. Meanwhile, builders' confidence in the housing market, as measured by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, fell 4 points to 24 in July -- the lowest level since January 1991. NAHB chief economist David Seiders noted that builders are trimming prices and offering buying incentives to work down their inventories. "The bottom line is the single-family market is still in a correction process," Mr. Seiders said. He predicts that housing starts will begin a gradual recovery early next year.

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