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New Building Trends Vary, But Indicators Are Positive

U.S. developers broke ground on new homes at a faster pace in July. The Commerce Department suggests that home building is maintaining its recovery but might be starting to feel the effects of higher mortgage rates.

Builders began work on houses and apartments at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000 in July 2013. Construction began on 26 percent more apartments but 2.2 percent fewer single-family houses.

Overall housing starts remain below the 1.5 million-a-year rate that’s consistent with a healthy market.

Builders broke ground on 15 percent more single-family homes in July than a year earlier. And including apartments, housing starts have increased 21 percent in the past year.

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