WASHINGTON - A surge of construction in the Midwest drove U.S. housing starts up 5 percent in May from the prior month.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.35 million, the strongest pace since July 2007. All of May's construction gains came from a 62 percent jump in the Midwest, while building slumped in the Northeast, South and West. Home construction can be volatile on a monthly basis, so May's gains may be a blip rather than a trend.
The solid job market has helped to boost demand for new homes. Housing starts have risen 11 percent so far this year, with gains for both single family houses and apartment buildings. Permits to build tumbled 4.6 percent in May, but permits are running 8.9 percent higher year-to-date.
Still, builders are concerned that tariffs announced by President Donald Trump that could affect steel, aluminum and lumber would make construction much more expensive, possibly limiting how many properties are built.
The risk of trade war with Canada caused builder confidence to sink this month. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday fell two points to 68 this month. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.
The home builder association said higher lumber prices have increased the price of a new single-family home by $9,000 since January 2017.
A San Diego family is pleading for the public’s help after their loved one received a devastating diagnosis while living abroad in India.
A man was taken to a mental health facility Monday, several hours after a SWAT team responded to a gunshot fired inside a home in the Birdland area, officials said.
A status conference is scheduled in federal court Monday for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, and his wife, who were indicted on charges they spent more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as family vacations and golf outings.
Temperatures remain cool Monday, warming through Thursday. Marine layer will stick around in the mornings, developing quickly overnight for the next few days.
The county Medical Examiner's Office will investigate the death of a man found on a sidewalk Sunday near a gate to the U.S. Navy Training Support Center, a city police officer said.
A downtown San Diego high-rise condo complex was evacuated early Sunday morning due to a water pipe bursting.
California officials quickly determined an arsonist started last month's huge wildfire southeast of Los Angeles, and that two weeks earlier sparks from a vehicle produced a deadly wildfire in the far northern part of the state.
The showdown begins Monday between the Trump administration and a handful of states opposed to relaxing fuel economy standards .
A 37-year-old man riding a bicycle was hit by a vehicle, seriously injured, and the driver sped off, officials said Sunday.