Construction started on new U.S. homes rose 6.5% to an annual rate of 1.21 million in September, according to government data released Tuesday. After two months of declines, the gain in September brings starts back close to June's level, which was an eight-year high. Starts for single-family homes rose 0.3% in September to an annual rate of 740,000, while starts in buildings with at least five units jumped 17% to a pace of 454,000. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected an overall September starts rate of 1.14 million. The annual pace of permits for new construction, a sign of future demand, fell 5.0% in September to 1.10 million. The pace of permits for single-family homes fell 0.3% to an annual rate of 697000, while the pace of permits for apartments fell 14.6% to 369,000. Economists caution over reading too much into a single monthly home-construction report because the data are subject to substantial revisions.
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