Housing starts up, builder confidence low

Inventory of new homes remains concern

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Housing starts jumped 17 percent from April to May, to an annual rate of 532,000, but builder confidence remains low, according to separate reports out this week.

Much of the increase in housing starts last month was in multifamily construction — single-family starts were up a more modest 7.5 percent from April to May, to an annual rate of 401,000 homes a year — the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a report today.