This morning the Commerce Department said that housing starts throughout the U.S. rose 6.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000, following a 14.8 percent decline in April (here's a link to that story). Single-family home construction represented nearly two-thirds of the market and was up 0.3 percent last month to an annual rate of 599,000 following two months of declines.

Apartment construction increased a a whopping 21.6 percent to an annual rate of 315,000 unit after falling during April. And applications for building permits, a gauge of future construction, were down 3.1 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted 974,000, remaining close to a five-year high hit in April.

The report doesn't track local conditions, but late last month we reported that Twin Cities builders were issued 452 permits to build 775 units during the last four weeks in the month of May (not seasonally adjusted). That was a 21 percent increase in the number of permits over last year, but a slight decline from April. Multi-family construction, mostly rental apartments, represented 44 percent of those units. 


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