WASHINGTON -- U.S. housing starts increased 10.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 598,000 units in August, according to U.S. Commerce Department statistics.

The National Association of Home Builders said the housing bump brought the pace of new housing production "more in line with the level of construction activity before the popular home buyer tax credit temporarily stimulated housing sales earlier this year."

The NAHB further noted that most of the month's gain occurred on the multifamily side (up 32.2%). Single-family housing production, which increased 4.3% to 436,000 units, lagged August 2009 by 9.1%.
"The housing market has been in a holding pattern as the economy stalled in the second and third quarters," said David Crowe, NAHB chief economist. "Construction activity returned to pre-home buyers tax credit levels in August as builders replaced sold single family homes and begin replenishing apartment building supply after a three year steady decline in multi-family construction." 

Three regions tracked by the NAHB registered improved starts activity in August, with the Midwest, South and West posting gains of 21.7%, 7.0% and 34.3%, respectively. The Northeast posted a 24.3% decline in starts this August.

Read the National Association of Home Builders' press release.

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