U.S. builders started work on single-family houses last month at the fastest pace since the Great Recession began in late 2007.
The Commerce Department says housing starts in August rose 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million homes. Construction of single-family houses accounted for all of the gains, shooting up 12.8 percent last month to the highest rate since December 2007.
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Fueled by steady job gains and low mortgage rates, total housing starts have risen 11.3 percent year-to-date. The market is attracting more buyers and renters, as starts for apartment buildings have climbed 12.2 percent so far this year despite last month's drop.
Approved building permits decreased 16.3 percent in July to an annual rate of 1.12 million, after achieving an eight-year high in June.