WASHINGTON (AP) – Oct. 19, 2011 – Homes were built in September at the fastest pace in 17 months, a hopeful sign for the struggling housing market.
The Commerce Department says builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 658,000 homes last month, a 15 percent increase from August and the most since April 2010.
Still, that’s roughly half the 1.2 million that economists say is consistent with healthy housing markets.
Single-family homes, roughly two-thirds of home construction, rose 1.7 percent. Apartment building surged 53.4 percent. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, fell 5 percent.
While home construction represents a small portion of the housing market, it has an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
The Associated Press
Derek Kravitz, AP real estate writer