New home starts reach six-month high - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New home starts reach six-month high

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

Builders broke ground on more single-family homes and apartments in June, as the home-building industry tried to shake off a historically bad spring.

The  US Commerce Department says builders began work on about 629,000 homes last month, a 14.6 percent increase from May.  Still, that's roughly half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market.

Apartment construction, a volatile part of the industry, surged 31.8 percent last month.  Single-family home construction rose a more modest 9.4 percent.  Building permits, a gauge of future construction, increased 2.5 percent.

These figures are important because more homes often leads to more jobs.  For every home built, three jobs are created for a year and about $90,000 in taxes are generated, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

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