New-home construction in the U.S. climbed in June to the second-highest level since November 2007 as builders stepped up work on apartment projects.
Housing starts rose 9.8 per cent to a 1.17 million annualized rate from a revised 1.07 million in May that was stronger than previously estimated, figures from the Commerce Department showed Friday in Washington.
Ground-breaking on multifamily dwellings jumped 29.4 per cent.
Housing Starts, US
New applications for building permits increased 7.4 per cent to 1.34 million.
The more volatile multifamily construction figures, new construction of buildings with more than five units, jumped 28.6 per cent in June, hitting its highest level since 1987.
Construction levels for new homes remain historically low, though there are signs of a healthy pickup in activity. Starts were 26.6 per cent higher in June than a year ago, and permits were up 30 per cent.
A forward-looking gauge of US existing-home purchases rose to its highest level in more than nine years in May, the National Association of Realtors said last month. A separate report from the industry group showed sales of previously owned homes rose 5.1 per cent in May, following a drop in April.