US housing starts jump more than expected

New residential construction rose at a faster rate than expected in June, according to the Census Bureau.

Housing starts jumped 4.8% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.189 million, rebounding from a downward-revised 1.7% drop in the prior month.

Economists had forecast that starts rose 0.2% month-on-month in June at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.164 million, according to Bloomberg.

“While we often see volatility in the month-to-month data, June’s rise in housing starts shows a sturdy demand for new homes as we move into the second half of the year,” said

Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield.

“The growing job market coupled with low mortgage rates continues to provide a boost to the housing market.”

Single-family starts were strong, while the multi-family category faltered.

Starts surged the most in the South, where construction got underway on 571,000 privately owned homes. But they were down 3.4% year-on-year.

Building permits rose 1.5% at a rate of 1.153 million. Economists had estimated that permits rose 1.2% at a rate of 1.15 million.

The drop in housing starts during May was foretold by a prior decline in permit activity, which leads starts by a month or two.

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