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New-Home Building Rose 0.6% In August

Construction of new homes rose in August for the fifth straight month, but the increase was the smallest since the housing industry began its rebound from a winter slump.

Analysts said the slight, 0.6 percent advance signaled the beginning of an expected plateau in housing activity.

“I wouldn’t expect construction activity to accelerate further,” said economist Michael Carliner of the National Association of Home Builders. “It will remain strong, but I don’t expect to see further growth at this point.”

Housing starts totaled a seasonally adjusted 1.398 million annual rate, up from 1.39 million in July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The advance was far slower than July’s 7.1 percent jump.

All regions except the South shared in the increase.