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Housing starts rise slightly in May

June 16, 2005

Building permits down from last year


Inman News

Privately owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.01 million, or about 0.2 percent above the revised April estimate and 1.8 percent above the May 2004 rate, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today.

Single-family housing starts in May 2005 were at a rate of 1.7 million, which is about 4.7 percent above the April figure. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 266,000.

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.05 million, or about 4.6 percent below the revised April rate and 3.7 percent below the May 2004 estimate. Single-family authorizations in May were at a rate of 1.62 million, or about 1.3 percent below the April figure. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 348,000 in May.

Regionally, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new, privately owned housing units authorized in May 2005 dropped 5.9 percent in the Northeast since May 2004, and dropped 5 percent in the South, 1.8 percent in the West and 1.7 percent in the Midwest.

Privately owned housing completions in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.07 million, which is about 6.9 percent above the revised April estimate and 8.5 percent above the May 2004 rate. Single-family housing completions in May 2005 were at a rate of 1,699,000; this is about 4.9 percent above the April figure of 1,619,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 318,000.

Regionally, the seasonally adjusted rate of new privately owned housing units started in May 2005 was up 6.1 percent in the Midwest since May 2004, and rose 4.8 percent in the South and 2.8 percent in the Northeast, but dropped 5.8 percent in the West.

The agencies reported that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular, and it can take four months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics used are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as non-sampling error including bias and variance from response, non-reporting, and under-coverage.

On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised about 1 percent.

Copyright 2005 Inman News



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