U.S. homebuilding rises sharply
WASHINGTON – U.S. home construction rebounded in July, rising to an eight-month high and offering hope that housing has regained momentum after two months of declines.
Construction increased 15.7 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million homes, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That was the fastest pace since November and followed declines of 4 percent in June and 7.4 percent in May.
Applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, also showed strength in July, advancing 8.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.05 million, after declines of 3.1 percent in June and 5.1 percent in May.
The July rebound reflected strength in single-family home construction, which rose 8.3 percent, and in apartment construction, which was up 33 percent.
Economists noted that the July performance was much better than expected, and June was revised significantly higher, both good signs for the future.
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