10:52am

Wed October 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Construction Of New Homes Surges To Four-Year High

The rate at which builders began work on new homes surged to a four-year high, the Commerce Department said today.

The AP reports that September clocked the fastest pace since July of 2008. The AP adds:

"The Commerce Department says builders broke ground at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 in September. That's an increase of 15% from August.

"Applications for building permits, a sign of future construction, jumped nearly 12% to an annual rate of 894,000, also the highest since July 2008.

"The strength in September came from both single-family construction, which rose 11%, and apartments, which increased 25.1%."

Bloomberg reports that this is a sign of recovery but "the level of starts remains below the pre-recession peak, limiting how much the industry can boost the rate of expansion."

Brian Jones, an economist who spoke to Bloomberg, said the "housing market has turned... but we still have a long way to go." He also adds that an increase in housing starts brings an increase in jobs.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.