May housing starts fall short of revised estimates

Residential construction picked up in May with housing starts increasing this year compared to 2011, according to a report released in June from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The improving housing starts numbers still fell short of the revised April estimates.

Privately owned housing starts in May were at the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000 a full 28.5 percent above the May 2011 rate of 551,000. Despite the jump, these numbers were still short, 4.8 percent, of the revised estimate of 744,000 from April.

Housing completions were up for the year, as well, but still fell short of expectations from April. Privately-owned housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted 598,000, 10.1 percent above May 2011’s 543,000 units. This was still short, 10.3 percent, of the revised April estimate of 543,000.

Housing starts have been up year-over-year since January, but have only reached the estimated figures from the previous month in two out of five months. Housing completions have been growing for three consecutive months, following a 7 percent drop in February.

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