Housing starts declined a larger-than-expected 6.2% to a seasonally adjusted 895,000. This is the lowest level the data has been in 17 years. The consensus call was for a 1.6% decline.
Additionally, July starts were revised downward by 11,000 to 954,000. Building permits were also lower-than-expected at 854,000, an 8.9% drop, versus a prediction of 920,000.
Meanwhile, in other housing news, homebuilder sentiment rose two points in September to 18. It was expected to hold unchanged at 16. The current sales index rose one point for the second straight month to 17. The outlook on future sales jumped six points to 30 a five-month high, and traffic of prospective buyers improved by one point to 14.