Economic Report: Housing starts rise to second-highest rate since recession on multifamily rebound

Home builders broke ground on more structures than expected in July as confidence in the economy and demand for housing continues to expand.

Housing starts ran at a seasonally adjusted 1.21 million annual rate, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, a 2.1% increase over an upwardly-adjusted June figure. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast 1.18 million.

Permits were at a 1.15 million annual rate in July, essentially flat from a revised June reading.

Single-family starts edged up 0.5% to a 770,000 annual pace. Most of the strength in July came from multifamily starts, which popped 8.3% to a 433,000 annual rate.

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