US housing starts jump, building permits up
There was some good news from the US housing market today after the Commerce Department revealed housing starts jumped in August to a four-month high.
According to the Commerce Department, construction of new US homes rose 10.5% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 598,000 units – beating analysts expectations of 550,000.
In the meantime, applications for building permits, a barometer of future home construction, also rose 1.8% in the month, after plummeting by 4.1% in July.
On an annual basis, housing starts are up 2.2%.
The data suggests the housing market may be starting to pick up after the withdrawal of a Government tax incentive in April resulted in a fall in activity thereafter.
The figures come shortly after Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the US will avoid a double-dip recession.