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HUD   >   Press Room   >   Press Releases   >   2014   >   HUDNo_14-075

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Brian Sullivan
Office of Public Affairs
(202) 402-7527
brian.sullivan@hud.gov

U.S. Census Bureau
Raemeka Mayo or Stephen Cooper
Manufacturing and Construction Division
301-763-5160
pio@census.gov

HUD AND CENSUS BUREAU ANNOUNCE
NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY IN MAY

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau today announced the following new residential construction statistics for May 2014:

BUILDING PERMITS

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 991,000. This is 6.4 percent (±0.8%) below the revised April rate of 1,059,000, and is 1.9 percent (±1.4%) below the May 2013 estimate of 1,010,000.  Single-family authorizations in May were at a rate of 619,000; this is 3.7 percent (±1.2%)* above the revised April figure of 597,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 347,000 in May.

HOUSING STARTS

Privately owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,001,000. This is 6.5 percent (±10.2%)* below the revised April estimate of 1,071,000, but is 9.4 percent (±11.0%)* above the May 2013 rate of 915,000.  Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 625,000; this is 5.9 percent (±12.7%)* below the revised April figure of 664,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 366,000.

HOUSING COMPLETIONS

Privately owned housing completions in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 897,000. This is 6.8 percent (±12.7%)* above the revised April estimate of 884,000, but is 2.1 percent (±17.1%)* above the May 2013 rate of 719,000. Single-family housing completions in May were at a rate of 618,000; this is 2.1 percent (±11.4%)* above the revised April rate of  605,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 269,000.

The Census Bureau updated its application programming interface (API) with monthly and quarterly economic indicators. The API allows developers to combine Census Bureau statistics with other data sets to create tools for research on a variety of other topics. For more information, go to ttp://www.census.gov/developers/. 

EXPLANATORY NOTES

In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take two months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, 4 months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2%) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percent change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percent changes are 90-percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply to the confidence intervals for percent changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised about three percent or less. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found on our web site listed above.

* 90% confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.

Read more about today’s release of housing construction activity.

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