Housing starts for the month of May rose 6.8% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000, according to data released Tuesday morning by the Commerce Department. The revised April estimate stood at 856,000.
The May total is 28.6% above the May 2012 rate of 711,000.
Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 599,000, which is 0.3% above the revised April figure of 597,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 306,000.
Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000. This is 3.1% below the revised April rate of 1,005,000, but is 20.8% above the May 2012 estimate of 806,000.