WASHINGTON (6/19/13)--Construction of new U.S. homes rose in May, with permits to build single-family homes increasing to a five-year high, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Housing starts climbed 6.8% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000, following an 856,000 pace in April. A 24.9 % surge in multifamily-unit construction is helping to continue the expansion in the housing market (Bloomberg.com, The Wall Street Journal and Moody's Economy.com June 18).
Also, building permits for single-family homes rose 1.3% to a 622,000 pace--the fastest since May 2008.
With improving job prospects and historically low mortgage rates enticing buyers, there will be an ongoing increase in building permits that exceed the level of starts--indicating residential construction will continue to rise, Bloomberg said.
The Commerce Department report is the most recent signal of steady gains in the housing market. The gains are helping to underpin the U.S. economy during a time when other segments of the economy--such as manufacturing and government spending--are in the doldrums, the Journal said.