The rising cost of lumber has continued to impede builders over the past several months, but despite those rising costs, new housing starts rose in May, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Single-family housing starts were up 4.2 percent from April to a rate of 1,098,000. That figure is 50.3 percent higher than the May 2020 rate of 1,046,000. Meanwhile, privately-owned housing starts were also up during May by an adjusted annual rate of 1,572,000 — 3.6 percent above the revised April estimate.

Single-family housing completions, however, did not see the positive growth that housing starts did — completions were 2.6 percent below the revised April estimate at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 978,000. Privately owned housing completions were likewise down from the previous month, by 4.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,368,000. However, that figure is still 16.1 percent up from May 2020 privately owned housing completions.

The pace of single-family building permits also declined by 1.6 percent in May to a rate of 1,130,000. Privately owned housing permits, meanwhile, were down 3.0 percent from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,681,000. Still, that rate was up 34.9 percent year over year.

Some economists believe housing starts will likely remain around the same level for the remainder of 2021 due to continued inventory demand.

“Strong demand, a need for inventory, and homebuilder optimism will keep a floor under activity, but builders continue to face supply constraints that may hamper or at least postpone construction,” Nancy Vanden Houten, lead economist at Oxford Economics, told Business Insider.

Email Lillian Dickerson

HUD
Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription