Home building continues to rise

June 18, 2013: 9:26 AM ET
housing stats 061813
Housing starts continued to increase in May.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The pace of home building gained steam in May, another sign of the housing market's recovery.

The number housing starts rose 7% to an annual pace of 914,000 homes, according to a government report out Tuesday. The rise was almost all attributed to a jump in buildings with five or more housing units, which were up 25% from April. Multi-family building stats are particularly volatile since every unit in a building is counted as a single building start.

The construction of single family home was essentially unchanged from April, but up 16% from a year ago, as housing market conditions continue to improve.

Building permits, a sign of builder confidence in the market, slipped 3% to an annual rate of 974,000. But that too was due to the volatile reading on multi-family permits, which fell 11%. Single-family home permits were up slightly in the month. And the number of homes under construction in the month reached a four-year high.

Related: Builders say housing is back

The housing market has seen a raft of positive news recently, including a drop in foreclosures, a steady rise in home prices and an increase in sales of both new and previously-owned homes. A rise in mortgage rates, up from recent record lows, has done little to slow the the housing market.

S. Florida real estate making a comeback

A separate government report showed that there are only a 4.1 month supply of new homes available for sale on the market, which is just above the nine-year low that was recorded in January.

Many builders say they are having trouble finding the workers they need to meet the demand for new homes. And a survey of builder confidence by the industry's trade group out Monday showed that the majority of builders feel market conditions are positive for the first time in seven years.

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