US housing starts fell back in June to 549,000 units – the lowest level in eight months. Starts dropped 5% from May and 5.8% on a year ago (583,000 starts).

One reason for the fall is the expiry of the home buyer tax credit. The credit had helped boost housebuilding volumes from their record lows.

Single family home starts reached 454,000 units, down 4.6% on a year ago, while multi-family units dipped 11.2%.

The National Association of Home Builders said that its index measuring homebuilder confidence fell two points in July.

The association said the pause in sales following the tax credit’s expiry was turning out to be longer than anticipated.