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Housing starts slide in May

Single-family permits are on the rise.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Housing starts slipped 0.9% in May to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.269 million units, the Commerce Department reported today.

But the April starts were revised upward to a rate of 1.281 million units compared to the rate of 1.235 million previously reported. Starts for May are 4.7% below the May 2018 rate of 1.332 million units.

Single-family starts were at a rate of 820,000, down 6.4% from the April rate of 876,000. Multi-family starts were 436,000 for May.

Building permits in May increased 0.3% to 1.294 million units from the revised April rate of 1.290 million units. The latest permit report is 0.5% below the May 2018 rate of 1.301 million, however.

Single-family permits were at a rate of 815,000, marking a 3.7% rise above the revised April figure of 786,000. About 442,000 multi-family units were authorized last month.

On a month-over-month basis, single-family starts fell 25.8% in the Northeast, dropped 5.8% in the Midwest, and declined nearly 20% in the West. Single-family starts rose 3.3% in the South.

Total starts in May fell 45.5% in the Northeast, dropped 8% in the Midwest, and declined 2.4% in the West. Combined starts in the South increased 11.2%.

Single-family permits dropped 2% in the Northeast, slipped 0.9% in the Midwest and fell 1% in the West. In the South, single-family permits increased 7.7% last month.

The full report from the Commerce Department is available here.

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