US home building climbs 12.3% in August to 12-year high

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The pace of U.S. home construction jumped 12.3% last month to a 12-year high on a surge in apartment building.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.36 million, most since June 2007 and up from a revised 1.22 million, as builders overcame a shortage of skilled workers and available land.

Construction of single-family homes rose 4.4% to 919,000. Building of apartments and condominiums surged 30.9% -biggest monthly gain since December 2016 – to 424,000.

Residential construction rose 30.5% in the Northeast, 15.4% in the Midwest and 14.9% in the South but was unchanged in the West.

In another good sign for the housing market, permits, a signal of future building, rose 7.7% to 1.42 million, highest since May 2007.

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