June Housing Starts Jump 6.9% to Pre-Recession LevelWASHINGTON -- June home construction rose sharply to 6.9% from May, reaching its highest level since the recession began.

According to the Commerce Department, total home starts rose to the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000 units, exceeding the June 2011 rate by 23.6% or 615,000. Also, single-family home construction was up 4.7 over the May rate.

Although June building permits were down 3.7% from May, that number is still 19.3% higher than June 2011.

Coupled with strong homebuilder confidence, which is up to its highest level in five years, the new economic data points to a stronger housing market.

“This is one more piece of evidence that housing is starting to take back its traditional role of leading the nation out of recession, and tracks with our forecast for continued improvement in new construction through the end of this year,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe in a statement. “While many challenges continue to weigh down the housing recovery – including those related to builders’ and buyers’ access to credit, poor appraisals and the number of distressed properties in certain markets – production of single-family homes is now the strongest it has been since 2010 due to rising consumer demand brought on by improving market conditions."

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