May Housing Starts & Strong Building Permits Point to Better Building Times Ahead

The U.S. Census Bureau is reporting that Privately-owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000. This is 4.3% above the revised April estimate of 934,000, but is -23.2% below the May 2019 rate of 1,268,000. Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 675,000; this is 0.1% above the revised April figure of 674,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 291,000. Permits are the forward-looking part of the report and Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,220,000. This is 14.4 % above the revised April rate of 1,066,000, but is -8.8% below the May 2019 rate of 1,338,000. Single-family authorizations in May were at a rate of 745,000; this is 11.9% above the revised April figure of 666,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 434,000 in May.


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MONTHLY NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION, MAY 2020