Housing, one of the persistent drags on the United States’ economic recovery, showed a sign of revival on Tuesday.
Housing starts hit a five-month high in June, according to data released by the Commerce Department. Construction on 629,000 privately owned homes began at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 14.6 percent from May’s revised 549,000 and 16.7 percent higher than the 539,000 homes started in June 2010.
The consensus was for a much smaller increase to 575,000, according to Bloomberg. The unexpected jump reflects a boom in construction of multifamily homes with five units or more, which climbed more than any other category, increasing 31.8 percent from May and 104.8 percent from the previous June.
Building permits, which indicate future construction, rose 2.5 percent from the previous month.