Data released this morning by the Commerce Department show that housing starts in May fell 4.8% to a seasonally adjusted pace of 708,000 units. That fell short of estimates from economists, who had predicted of a pace of 720,000 units, Reuters noted.
However, housing starts for April were revised upward from a pace of 717,000 units to 744,000 units, marking the best housing start pace since October 2008.
Despite the drop in housing starts last month, new permits for residential construction rose 7.9%. That exceeded economists’ expectations and was the highest new permit number since September 2008.
The government said groundbreaking on multifamily homes plummeted 21.3% in May, while construction of single-family homes rose 3.2%.