Monday, July 20, 2009

US June Housing Starts Show Biggest Rise In 5 Years

Source : The Business Times, July 18, 2009

(Washington)HOUSING starts in the US unexpectedly rose last month as construction of single-family dwellings jumped by the most since 2004, signalling that the market is stabilising.

The 3.6 per cent increase brought starts to an annual rate of 582,000, the highest level since November, and followed a 562,000 pace in May that was higher than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said yesterday.

Building permits, a sign of future construction, rose the most in a year. Building permits climbed 8.7 per cent to a 563,000 annual rate, the highest level of the year.

Construction of single-family homes jumped 14 per cent, the biggest gain since December 2004, to a 470,000 rate. The fourth consecutive increase brought single-family starts to the highest level since last October. Work on multi-family homes, such as townhouses and apartment buildings, dropped 26 per cent after surging 66 per cent in May.

The increase in starts of single-family homes adds to signs that the housing slump may be nearing a bottom. Combined sales of existing and new homes climbed to a 5.1 million annual rate in May, the highest level so far this year. -- Bloomberg

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