WASHINGTON (San Antonio Business Journal) – Although U.S. housing starts dropped in May, permits for new home construction reached the highest level in over three years.

Housing starts fell 4.8 percent in May to 708,000 units, according to the Commerce Department, down from April’s adjusted 744,000 units.

New home permits reached 780,000 units, up 7.9 percent. Permit numbers for May are the highest since September 2008, significantly above analysts’ forecasts.