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US new home starts jump to fastest pace in 4 years

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Posted: Nov 20, 2012 12:27 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: washington, government, report, home, start, housing, builders, economy

WASHINGTON - The government reports that the nation's home builders began construction last month on the most homes and apartments since July 2008.

It is fresh evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum.

The Commerce Department says builders broke ground on homes in October at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000. That is up 3.6 percent from September.

Single-family home construction dipped 0.2 percent to an annual rate of 594,000, down from a four-year high in the previous month. Apartment construction, which is more volatile from month to month, rose 10 percent to an annual rate of 285,000.

Applications for building permits, a sign of future construction, fell 2.7 percent to 866,000, after jumping 12 percent in September to a four-year high. Still, permit applications to build single-family homes rose to their highest level since July 2008.

Though new homes represent less than 20 percent of the housing sales market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the home builders group.

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