U.S. housing starts rebounded sharply in May, gaining 17.2% versus April, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures released last week. The improved rate still remains 45.2% down versus May, 2008.
Much of the gain took place in the multi-family market segment, known for its volatility. Multi-family starts were up 77% versus April, but had declined nearly that amount in April compared to March.
Less volatile, single-family starts gained 7.5% in May versus a month earlier to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 401,000. It was the first time that the rate of single-family housing starts exceeded 400,000 since November, 2008.
Multi-family starts stood at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 124,000. Overall starts were at a rate of 532,000 annually.
Building permits issues in May gained 4% against the previous month. Single-family permits rose by 7.9%, while multi-family permits fell by 8.3%.
Both housing starts and permits were up in every region of the country.