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Housing construction starts up in June

Housing starts and permits both rose to nearly eight-year highs in June.

Housing starts and permits both rose to nearly eight-year highs in June, a sign that residential construction activity continues to move in the right direction.

Housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,174,000 units in June and permits soared to 1,343,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in a joint statement released Friday.

However, much of the monthly increase came from the highly volatile multifamily segment, with starts in single-family construction edging slightly lower, National Association of Manufacturers chief economist Chad Moutray said in a report released today.

Still, the longer-term trend remains positive and homebuilders are mostly upbeat about the coming months, Moutray wrote.

The Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo rose to its highest level since November 2005 in July.

“Overall, housing data are very encouraging for those manufacturers who have long sought a recovery in the market,” Moutray said in the report.

Moutray also speculated that the Federal Open Market Committee will likely begin raising short-term interest rates by the end of the year, either at its September or December meeting, based on progress made in the overall economy and testimony given by Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen last week.

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