Softening Starts

March housing starts eased to 1.139 million, the weakest data since 5/17, down 14.2% compared to 3/18, and down 9.7% YTD. Part of the apparent softness is because starts were particularly strong through 5/18. However, it is still somewhat surprising given lower rates and a very strong labor market. I suspect some of the weakness is due to tax reform and the reduced tax shelter housing now offers.

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