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US housing starts down 5.5 per cent in May

June 19, 2017 - Led by a decline in multifamily production, nationwide housing starts fell 5.5 per cent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Multifamily starts fell 9.7 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 289,000 units while single-family production edged down 3.9 per cent to 794,000.

June 19, 2017  By National Association of Home Builders

“Today’s report is consistent with builder sentiment in the housing market, indicating some weakness after a strong start to the year,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “Ongoing job growth, rising demand and low mortgage rates should keep the single-family sector moving forward this year, even as builders deal with ongoing shortages of lots and labor.”

“After a strong start for single-family building this year, recent months have recorded softer readings,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, on a year-to-date basis, single-family starts are up 7.2 per cent as builders add inventory to the market.”

Regionally in May, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 1.3 per cent in the West and remained unchanged in the Northeast. Starts fell by 9.2 per cent in the Midwest and 8.8 per cent in the South.

“Overall permit issuance in May was down 4.9 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units. Single-family permits inched down 1.9 per cent to 779,000 units while multifamily permits fell 10.4 per cent to 389,000.


Regionally, overall permits rose 3.3 per cent in the Northeast. Permits fell 9.4 per cent in the Midwest, 0.3 per cent in the South and 13.1 per cent in the West.

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