WASHINGTON – Single and multifamily starts declined last month, which pulled down nationwide housing production 6.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than 1 million units in May.

Single-family housing starts dropped 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000 units last month. In addition, multifamily production sank 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 376,000 units.

Meanwhile, single-family permits grew 3.7 percent. This could be an indicator that building activity will increase in the future, according to the the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

"The encouraging news is that single-family permits are up by almost 4 percent," said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist. "The modest increase is evidence that builders expect continued release of pent-up demand and a gradual expansion of the housing market. We are still forecasting a 12 percent increase in total housing starts for the year."

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