Housing starts increased 6.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000 for May, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens a PDF) released today.

After nose-diving more than 15% the previous month, the newest numbers were expected to go up, but analysts' predictions of a 955,000 rate proved too optimistic for May's report.

Housing Starts May

Source: Census.gov. 

Housing permits tapered off in May. New privately owned housing units authorized by building permits eased down 3.1% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000, essentially matching analyst expectations.

As the last, but most complete indicator of housing stock growth, housing completions fell 0.9% month-to-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 690,000 in May.

Looking back to May 2012, housing starts have soared 28.6%, permits are up 20.8%, and completions have managed a 12.6% increase.

Today's news comes a day after a report showed homebuilder sentiment had tipped from majority pessimistic to majority optimistic for the first time since April 2006.


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