The latest Monthly New Residential Construction Report from the U.S. Census Bureau brings some negative news for the U.S. housing sector. Housing starts hit an eight month low in May 2017, falling 5.5 percent, to a rate of 1.092 million.
Housing permits also decreased 4.9 percent to 1.168 million.
There were declines across all individual components, with single-family starts falling 3.9 percent to a rate 794,000 and permits falling 1.9 percent to 779,000. Correspondingly, multi-family starts fell 9.7 percent to 298,000 and permits dropped 10.4 percent to 389,000.
In contrast, housing completions rose 5.6 percent, coming in at a rate of 1.164 million, adding supply to a thin market.
The overall decline in construction activity suggests that residential investment will be a negative factor in second quarter GDP.