WASHINGTON -- U.S. builders started work on more single-family homes in May and requested the most permits to build homes and apartments in 3 1/2 years, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
The department said builders broke ground on 3.2 percent more single-family homes in May, the third straight monthly increase.
Overall housing starts fell 4.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000. But that was because of a 21.3 percent plunge in apartment construction.
The government also revised the figure for April housing starts to 744,000 from an initially reported 717,000.