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California housing starts rise in May

Housing production in California, fueled largely by multi-family building projects, posted the highest monthly permit total for the year in May, according to statistics compiled by the Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB).

Permits were pulled for 4,630 total housing units in May, up 42% from the same month a year ago and up 28% from April. Permits for single-family homes totaled 1,908, down 7% from May 2010 and down 6% from the previous month, while multi-family permits totaled 2,722, up 124% from a year ago and up 71% from April.

Mike Winn, president and CEO of the California Building Industry Association, noted that CIRB is now forecasting that a total of 51,400 permits will be issued in 2011, up from 2010’s total of 44,762 permits, but still down from 2008’s total of 64,962.

“While it seems we had a great month in May, these gains are largely attributed to the multi-family sector,” Winn said. “The construction industry as a whole is still struggling, and we must continue to encourage our lawmakers to ‘do no harm’ as the industry continues to recover.”

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