U.S. home construction rebounded better than anticipated 3.9% in August, with the boost coming in apartment construction.
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The August jump left home construction at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.62 million units, 17.4% above the rate of a year ago. Housing starts had dropped 6.2% in July.
The August strength came in a 21.6% increase in construction of apartment units that offset a 2.8% drop in construction of single-family homes.
Applications for building permits, a good indicator of future activity, jumped 6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.73 million units.
Meanwhile, with demand still strong and homes for sale in short supply, the projections for housing construction remain positive for the rest of the year.
Construction activity was up in all regions of the country except the West that saw a 21.1% decline. Homebuilding rose 167.2% in the Northeast, but that increase came after a 5.4% decline in July. Construction starts were up 11.4% in the Midwest and 1.4% in the South.