US builders start more single-family homes

By Qiong (June) Zhang43 Comments

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018469031_apushousingstarts.html

U.S. builders started work on more single-family homes in May and requested the most permits to build homes and apartments in three and a half years. The increase suggests the housing market is slowly recovering even as other areas of the economy have weakened.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on 3.2 percent more single-family homes in May, the third straight monthly increase.

The government also said April was much better for housing starts than first thought. The government revised the April starts to 744,000 – up from an initially reported 717,000 and the fastest building pace since October 2008.

Even with the gains, the rate of construction and the level of permits requested remain roughly half the pace considered healthy. Yet the increases add to other signs that the home market may finally be starting to recover nearly five years after the housing bubble burst.

By region of the country, housing starts rose 14.4 percent in the West, but dropped in other parts of the country. The declines primarily reflected the weakness in apartment activity.

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