May housing starts were much weaker than expected (1036K vs. 1090K), but building permits were 16% above expectations, and homebuilders' sentiment was comfortably strong. Two positives easily outweigh the starts negative, expecially given the volatile nature of this series.
On balance, the housing market is still in good shape and likely to continue improving. Building permits were very strong, as the chart above shows. Builders are closer to the reality of the housing market than most of us, and today's releases suggest they are expecting conditions to improve.
I have yet to see anything which points to a recession or a slowdown serious enough to warrant paying the high price of safety (i.e., cash still yields almost nothing, while yields on competing investments are much higher).