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Gold prices remain down as U.S. housing construction falls 9.6% in July

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(Kitco News) - Tighter financial conditions continues to take its toll on the U.S. housing market as construction on new homes dropped more than expected in July.

Housing starts fell 9.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.45 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Economists were expecting to see housing starts fall to 1.53 million units.

Meanwhile, data for June was revised higher to rate of 1.59 million units from the previously reported 1.56 million units.

The report said that housing construction as down more than 8% from last year.

The gold market continues to struggle even as U.S. economic data continues to weaken. Although prices are off their lows they are still in solidly negative territory. December gold futures last traded at $1,789.70 an ounce, down 0.47% on the day.

The housing market, an important pillar of support for the U.S. economy has struggled through the first half of 2022. Rising interest rates, driving mortgages higher is keeping many new home buyers out of the market. At the same time commodity prices are pushing construction costs higher.

However, some economists remain optimistic that the housing sector will recover later in the year. The report showed that stronger than expected building permit data.

Permits for future homebuilding fell less than expected, dropping 3.1% to a rate of 1.674 million permits in July. Economists were expecting to see a rate of 1.63 million permits.

For the year permitting is up 1.1%.

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