NAHB sees caution in construction stats

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says builders are being careful to avoid getting "ahead of the market."

The builders group made the comment after the Commerce Department reported a 9.9% decline in nationwide housing starts for the month of June. 

"While demand for new homes and apartments has grown considerably over the past year, builders are still being very careful not to get ahead of the market, and [the June] report reflects that cautious approach," said Rick Judson, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.

June Housing starts declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000, the lowest rate since August of last year. The decline was driven by a dip in multifamily housing. 

"The large dip in multifamily production in June follows a boost of activity in May, and is consistent with the volatility that has come to characterize that sector as well as the uneven pace of the housing recovery," said David Crowe, NAHB chief economist. He added that single-family starts and permits rose in three out of of four regions in June -- "a positive sign," he s