The pace of new home construction crashed 14.4 percent in May, the Commerce Department said Thursday, as higher interest rates and high home prices drove away buyers and depressed home builder sentiment.
Housing starts fell to an annual rate of 1.55 million and permits fell to 1.7 million. Economists had forecast 1.7 million starts and 1.78 million permits.
April starts were revised up to 1.81 million from the preliminary estimate of 1.72 million. April permits were revised up from 1.189 million to 1.823 million.
Single-family home starts fell 9.2 percent in May and permits were down 5.5 percent.
Starts on apartment starts fell 26.8 percent while permits plunged 10 percent.
Home builder confidence has been falling for six consecutive months and May appears