U.S. Home Construction Down Slightly in May

     (CN) – Construction of new homes in the U.S. was down slightly in May, with the reductions in activity in the Northeast and Midwest accounting for most of the decline.
     According to the Commerce Department, housing starts were down 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units.
     It attributes the decline to 33.3 percent decrease in new construction in the Northeast and a 2.5 percent decline in the Midwest.
     Starts rose 14.4 percent in the West and 1.5 percent in the South last month, the government said.
     Housing starts have climbed 10.2 percent compared to the first five months of 2015, a sign of healthy demand. Single-family house starts have climbed 14.5 percent this year, evidence that builders are actively seeking home buyers rather than renters.
     Applications for building permits, an indicator of future activity, rose 0.7 percent in May to an annual rate of 1.14 million.

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