May Housing Starts Drop, Permits Rise

Multifamily construction dropped, but single-family starts rose


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.

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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%.

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