The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for May new residential building permits. The latest reading of 1.681M was down 3% from the April reading and is below the forecast of 1.730M.

Here is the opening of this morning's monthly report, including a note regarding revisions:

Building Permits

Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,681,000. This is 3.0 percent (±1.4 percent) below the revised April rate of 1,733,000, but is 34.9 percent (±2.4 percent) above the May 2020 rate of 1,246,000. Single‐family authorizations in May were at a rate of 1,130,000; this is 1.6 percent (±0.9 percent) below the revised April figure of 1,148,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 494,000 in May. [link to report]

Here is the complete historical series, which dates from 1960. Because of the extreme volatility of the monthly data points, a 6-month moving average has been included.