The rate of housing completions dropped 10.1 percent from May 2005 to May 2006, while building permit activity fell 8.5 percent and housing starts were down 3.8 percent in that time, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today. Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.93 million, down 2.1 percent from the revised April rate. Single-family housing authorizations in May were at a rate of about 1.47 million, which is down 2.1 percent from April and down 12.2 percent from May 2005. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 383,000 in May. Privately owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.96 million. This is 5 percent above the revised April estimate. Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of about 1.59 million, which is 2.1 percent above the April figure but down 7.6 percent...
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