US housing starts at six-month high

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The Independent Online

The American housing market showed signs of life in June, with a higher-than-expected increase in the number of residential construction projects kicking off last month, according to figures from the Commerce Department.

The number of housing starts increased by nearly 15 per cent to an annual rate of 629,999 units, the highest since January.

At the same time, the number of new building permits, which presage future construction, saw an unexpected rise to 624,000 in June. In less-encouraging news, however, the number for housing starts in May was revised down to 549,000, compared to an initial estimate of 560,000.