The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that single-family housing starts soared 5.5 percent, marking the best pace since April 2010. Construction of homes and apartments increased 2.3 percent in August from July.
Overall, home construction has jumped nearly 60 percent since April 2009, when it hit a recessionary low, the Commerce Department reports. Still, the sector is only at half the pace that most economists consider healthy.
Apartment construction has been a volatile part of the market in recent years and construction dropped nearly 5 percent in August.
Housing starts — for both homes and apartments — rose the most in the Midwest, which saw a 20.7 percent monthly increase in construction. Home construction also increased 3.7 percent in the South, but dropped 12.6 percent in the Northeast and 4.3 percent in the West.
Building permits, a gauge of future construction, dropped to an annual rate of 803,000, down from a four-year high of 811,000 in July.
Source: “U.S. Housing Starts Rose 2.3 Percent in August, Buoyed by Single-Family Construction,” Associated Press (Sept. 19, 2012)