Permits Rise in May; April Figures Better than First Reported

The U.S. Census Bureau and the
Department of Housing and Urban Development reported this morning that permits
for the construction of new privately-owned residential construction jumped 7.9
percent in May.  This results in a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 780,000, up from an upwardly revised level
of 723,000 permits in April.  The April
number was originally reported at 715,000. 
The pace of permitting in May is 25 percent higher than the 624,000
permits reported in May 2011.

Permits for single-family construction
were at a rate of 494,000, up 4.0 percent from the 475,000 reported in
April.  Multi-family permits (units in
buildings of five or more units) were at the rate of 266,000, compared to a revised
226,000 rate (originally reported at 217,000) in April.

Building Permits

Click Here to View the Housing Permits Chart

Housing starts fell by 4.8 percent to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000; a 28.5 percent increase from one
year earlier.  In April there were
744,000 starts, a substantial upward revision from the 717,000 pace originally

Single family starts were at an adjusted
rate of 516,000, up 3.2 percent from the revised April figure of 500,000, 8,000
higher than originally reported.  The May
figure was 26.2 percent higher than that reported in May, 2011.  Multifamily starts were at a rate of 179,000,
down 24.2 percent month-over-month but 31.6 percent higher than one year

Housing Starts

Click Here to View the Housing Starts Chart

Housing completions were at a rate of
598,000, a 10.3 percent drop from April but 10.1 percent higher than in May
2011.  Single-family completions were at
the rate of 458,000, down 6.3 percent from April’s 489,000.  Units in multi-family buildings were
completed at an annual rate of 130,000.

The pace of permitting rose in three of
four regions, falling by 8.0 percent in the Northeast but rising 6.1 percent in
the Midwest, 11.1 percent in the South, and 10.5 percent in the West.  Housing starts however rose only in the West,
by 14.4 percent.  They fell in the
Northeast by 20.3 percent, in the Midwest by 13.3 percent, and in the South by
6.1 percent.

At the end of the reporting period there
were 88,900 units with permits for which construction had not started.  Nearly half of these (39,100) were for construction
of units in multi-family buildings and 24,900 of those were located in the

…(read more)

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