Still, US homebuilding remains -24% below its February level.
Housing starts in the US increased +17% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.186 million units last month, the Commerce Department said today.
The percentage gain was the largest since October 2016.
Data for May was revised up to a 1.011 million-unit pace from the previously reported 974,000.
Builders reported increased demand for single-family homes in lower density markets, including small metro areas, rural markets and large metro suburbs. The public health crisis has shifted office work from commercial business districts to homes, a trend that economists predict could become permanent.
Home building last month was boosted by a +17.2% jump in the construction of singe-family housing units, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, to a rate of 831,000 units. Starts are likely to advance further in the coming months.
Demand for housing is being supported by cheaper mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is at an average of 2.98%, the lowest since 1971, according to data from mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac.
US BUILDING PERMITS RISE IN JUNE 2020
Permits for future homebuilding rose +2.1% to a rate of 1.241 million units in June, placing them well ahead of starts.
Single-family building permits shot up +11.8% to a rate of 834,000 units.