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Washington – US home construction rebounded 4.3% in May after steep declines caused by shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new homes were started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000 last month after steep declines in April and March.

Home builders are hoping that as the nation re-opens, housing will post a strong recovery, helped by super-low mortgage rates. But some analysts caution that the fledgling rebound could be derailed if cases of the coronavirus spike again, causing potential buyers to put off looking for a new home.

Applications for building permits, a good indication of future activity, rose a sizable 14.4% in May to an annual rate of 1.22 million units.

The report showed that construction of new single-family homes was up 5.4% while construction of apartments with five units or more increased 16.9%.

Construction was up in the Northeast and the West and down in the Midwest an South.

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