US Housing Starts Rise 14.6 Percent
The US Commerce Department reported Tuesday that June housing starts surged 14.6 percent in June, but insiders say the spike was largely due to builders playing catch up on projects that were delayed because of bad weather in the spring. Nevertheless, home construction reached a five month high last month, while applications for building permits increased, both very positive signs for the nation's long-beleaguered housing market.
The Commerce Department's report showed housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000 in June, the highest pace since January. The figure was a significant increase from May's revised pace of 549,000 and also well above the 570,000 expected by analysts in a recent Briefing.com survey. May's figure was revised downward from an initially reported pace of 560,000.
Requests for building permits, meanwhile, rose 2.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 624,000, surpassing May's pace of 609,000. The analysts in the Briefing.com survey had projected applications for permits to be the same as May. Building permit activity is closely watched as an indicator of future housing starts.