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Political Economy
Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 07/19/2011

Home construction sees sharp rise


Framer Joe Jacques cuts lumber for a home under construction in Windham, N.H., on Tuesday. Builders broke ground on more single-family homes and apartments in June, helping the battered construction industry gain a little life after a dismal spring. (CHARLES KRUPA/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Construction of new homes is on the rise, according to data released today from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Census Bureau.

New home starts went up 14.6 percent in June, soaring over an expected rise of 2.5 percent. Permits for new housing units were also up, growing 2.5 percent in June and 8.2 percent in May.

The report said that June saw 629,000 housing starts, at a seasonally adjusted rate, about 16.7 percent above last June’s figures.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, June saw the “best pace of housing production” since the start of 2011. Every region of the country saw gains in housing starts, with the Northeast showing a 35.1 percent increase in June.

In a statement, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said that the industry expects to see a continued upward trend in home construction, though “not without some bumps along the way.”

The group’s chairman, Bob Nielsen, warned that limited access to construction credit is still keeping building crews from starting new projects.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was also cautiously optimistic about the report, but also did not miss the opportunity to mention the debt crisis and its possible effect on the housing market.

“If America fails to meet its obligations, it would lead to a sharp decline in household wealth and higher mortgage rates, which would profoundly damage the housing market’s recovery.”

By  |  01:50 PM ET, 07/19/2011

Tags:  Housing

 
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