U.S. housing starts increased for the second straight month in April, the Commerce Department reported today but building permits dropped sharply.
Housing starts increased 5.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 672,000 from a revised 635,000 in March. April's starts marked the highest level of new construction in 18 months.
Starts of single-family homes rose 10.2% in April to a 593,000-unit annual rate, the highest since August 2008.
Building permits, a sign of future construction, fell 11.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 606,000, the lowest in six months.