U.S. nationwide housing starts were up 6.8%, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000 units, in May 2013, according to data from the Census Bureau. Increased multifamily housing production was the primary driver of the higher May numbers.
Single-family home building was likely slowed by May's wet weather in much of the United States, according to National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe. "Nevertheless, the strength in permit issuance for single-family units--and stockpiling of permits for future use--provides further evidence that housing continues on a slow and steady path to recovery."
Single-family housing starts were little changed in May, at a solid pace of 599,000 units. Multifamily production rebounded back from an April 2013 decrease to show a 21.6% gain, to 315,000 units, in May.
Issuance of new building permits were down 3.1%, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000 units, in May. This reduction was due to a drop in multifamily permits. May's 10% multifamily drop, to 352,000 units, after a spike in multifamily permits in April. Single-family permits were up 1.3% in May 2013 to 622,000 units, for the best sector pace in five years.
"The outlook for housing continues to brighten as builders respond to increased demand for new homes and rental apartments," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, NC. "While challenges with regard to the cost and availability of building materials, lots and labor are still keeping the pace of improvement in check, both builders and consumers are more confident about their prospects in the current marketplace."
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