Housing starts decline 9.9%

The Commerce Department's residential construction report released Wednesday morning showed an unexpected downturn for housing starts.

Housing starts in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000. That's down 9.9% from the upwardly revised May estimate. Compared with a year ago, however, June starts were up 10.4%. 

May's starts figure was revised upward from 914,000 to 928,000. Analysts had expected a June figure above 950,000. 

Building permits also disappointed. Permits came in at a pace of 911,000 -- down 7.5% from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, building permits were up 16.1% from a very weak June 2012. 

Single-family housing starts were less volatile in June, showing a decline of 0.6% and an annual rate of 624,000.