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Posts tagged: home construction

U.S. builders start fewer homes but permits jump

U.S. builders started work on slightly fewer homes in February. But they began laying the ground work for a turnaround later this year by requesting the most building permits in any month since October 2008, the Associated Press reports.

The Commerce Department said today that builders broke ground on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000 homes last month. That’s down 1.1 percent from January’s revised level of 706,000, also the highest since October 2008.

Building permits, a gauge of future construction, jumped 5.1 percent last month to 717,000. Two-thirds are for single-family homes, which are critical to a housing recovery.

It can take up to 12 months for a builder to obtain a permit and construct a single-family home.

Builders start more homes but pace still slow

WASHINGTON — Builders broke ground on more new homes in May, but not enough to signal a recovery in the troubled housing market.

Home construction rose 3.5 percent from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units per year, the Commerce Department said today.

Economists say the pace of construction is far below the 1.2 million homes per year that must be built to sustain a healthy housing market. Many credit-strapped builders are struggling to compete with low-priced foreclosures.

Housing permits, a gauge of future construction, rose last month to the highest level since December. But apartment and condominium construction accounted for a large portion of that increase. Renting has become a preferred option for many Americans who lost their jobs in the recession and who were forced to leave their rapidly depreciating homes.

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