Housing Starts Drop 6.5% for May

Housing starts fell 6.5% for May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.001 million, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens a PDF) released today.

After soaring more than 13% for April, this latest report points to less-than-steady movements in the housing market recovery. Even with April's advance, analysts had been expecting May's starts to clock in at a stronger 1.036 million reading, which would have been a 3.3% drop from the previous month's revised figure. 

Source: Census.gov ; Housing Starts Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate

Housing permits followed a similar path for May, dropping 6.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 991,000, while housing completions finished off the month in the opposite direction, up 6.8% at an 897,000 rate. 

Over the past year, housing starts have increased 9.4%, permits are down 1.9%, and completions have soared 24.8%. 

Today's news comes a day after the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index revealed that homebuilders are still pessimistic for June, although slightly less so than in May. Generally, today's Commerce Department report reiterates a recurring theme in recent housing market reports -- the recovery is rocky.

Discover a top stock pick for 2014
Every year, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer hand-picks 1 stock with outstanding potential. Just click here to download your free copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014" today.

The article Housing Starts Drop 6.5% for May originally appeared on Fool.com.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story