WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction of new homes nudged down slightly in May, with builders pulling back in the Northeast and Midwest.
The Commerce Department says that housing starts ticked down 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units. Home construction has improved much of this year, with single-family houses accounting for much of the gains unlike recent years when developers focused more on apartments. Housing starts have climbed 10.2 percent compared to the first five months of 2015.
Starts rose 14.4 percent in the West and 1.5 percent in the South last month. They plunged 33.3 percent in the Northeast and fell 2.5 percent in the Midwest.
Applications for building permits, an indicator of future activity, rose 0.7 percent in May to an annual rate of 1.14 million.