RISMEDIA

July 20, 2009

New construction of U.S. houses expanded for the second straight month in June after hitting a record low in April, the Commerce Department estimated Friday.

Starts rose 3.6% in June to a seasonally adjusted 582,000 annualized units stronger than the 531,000 pace expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. This is the highest level of starts since last November.

Starts of new single-family homes rose by 14.4% to 470,000 in June, while starts of large apartment units fell 29.4% to 101,000. Building permits, a leading indicator of housing construction, rose 8.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000. This is the highest level of permits since December.