NEWS SUMMARY: US single-family housing starts rise

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES: U.S. builders broke ground on more single-family homes in May, the third straight monthly increase. Overall housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000, but only because of a decline in the volatile apartment construction.

PERMITS RISE: Builders requested more permits in May, suggesting housing starts will increase in the coming months. Permits rose to the highest annual rate since September 2008.

OUTLOOK: The rate of homes started and the level of permits requested still remain roughly half the pace considered healthy. Yet the gains support the view that the housing market is slowly recovering.