Due to volatility in multifamily construction, privately-owned housing starts fell 10.6 percent in April, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Construction of new single-family homes dropped 5.1 percent after gaining 7.7 percent in March. Building permits were also down, declining 4.0 percent. Despite the drop in permits, single-family authorizations were just 1.8 percent below the revised March figure. Residential construction has been slowed by an oversupply of existing homes but much of the volatility in housing starts over the past few months has been caused by instability in the multifamily sector. More here and here.