Housing starts dropped 4.8% in May, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Starts dropped to an annual rate of 708,000 units from a revised 744,000 in April, the highest rate since October 2008.
The level was less than economists’ median forecast of a 722,000 rate, Bloomberg reported.
Building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose 7.9% to a 780,000 annual rate, the highest level since September 2008.
Single-family home starts, rose 3.2% to a five-month high 516,000 rate.
Work on multifamily units, which are often more volatile, decreased 21.3 % to an annual rate of 192,000.
Starts climbed 14.4 % in the West, while falling 13.3% in the Midwest and 20.3% in the Northeast, Commerce said.