Housing starts drop 10 percent in May

Home construction plummeted in May to the lowest levels since December, renewing concerns about the sluggish housing market after the expiration of a federal tax credit. 

Housing starts dropped 10 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 units, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. 

Housing starts are up 7.8 percent compared with performance a year ago. 

Single-family homes took a big hit, sinking 17.2 percent between April and May to a seasonally adjusted rate of 468,000 units. 

Analysts expected a drop although not one this severe as builder confidence in the market remains shaky with the expiration of the homebuyers tax credit and a higher number of less expensive existing houses for sale. 

Earlier this week, the National Association of Home Builders reported a drop in confidence in June.