US home construction picks up in July

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New US home construction picks up in July to the fastest pace in just over a year, supporting hopes for a rebound in overall economic growth in Q3.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that total housing starts rose 2.1 percent from June to an annual pace of 1.21 million units.

That was the strongest pace since June 2015, when the pace was 1.23 million units a year -- itself the best level of activity since 2007. Year-to-date actual construction at 685,000 units was 6.7 percent higher than the same period in 2015, with all the gains in single family units while multiple-unit housing was slightly lower.

Analysts say housing demand remains pent up and is supported by near-record low mortgage rates. Building permits, another indicator of the strength in the sector, were flat in July from June and up 1.5 percent from a year ago.


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