U.S. housing starts up 5 percent

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A surge of construction in the Midwest drove U.S. housing starts up 5 percent in May from the prior month.
 
The Commerce Department says that housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.35 million, the strongest pace since July 2007. All of May's construction gains came from a 62 percent jump in the Midwest, while building slumped in the Northeast, South and West.
 
The solid job market has helped to boost demand for new homes. Housing starts have risen 11 percent so far this year, with gains for both single family houses and apartment buildings.
 
Still, builders are concerned that tariffs announced by President Donald Trump that could affect steel, aluminum and lumber would make construction much more expensive, possibly limiting how many properties are built.

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