Housing Starts Up 5 percent in May

Housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.350 million in May, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure was 5.0 percent above the April rate of 1.286 million and 20.3 percent higher than the May 2017 rate. Single-family home starts rose 18.3 percent from last month. Multifamily surged 11.3 percent since April and are up 27.4 percent since May 2017.

Housing activity decreased in three of the four regions as the Northeast, South, and West declined 15.0 percent, 0.9 percent, and 4.1 percent, respectively. However, housing starts in the Midwest led the increase, jumping 62.2 percent.

New building permits fell during the month, decreasing 4.6 percent to 1.301 million. Multifamily led the decrease, slipping 8.5 percent, while single-family building permits declined 2.2 percent. New building permits were up 8.0 percent from the May 2017 rate.

Housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.291 million, up 1.9 percent from the April estimate and 10.4 percent above the May 2017 rate.

Read the Census release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.
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