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Housing starts swell in July
WASHINGTON (8/20/14)--Housing starts jumped 15.7% in July up to 1.093 million annualized units, pushing starts 21.7% higher year-over-year, according to numbers released by the Commerce Department Tuesday.

While multifamily home starts have remained strong throughout 2014, singly-family starts also contributed to the surge in July, climbing 8% for the month ( Aug. 19).

"This was a good month, but we are not out of the woods yet," said economists from IHS Global Insight ( MarketWatch Aug. 19).

Still, multifamily starts led the way, increasing 33% in July and reaching their highest mark since 2005.

All regions except the Midwest experienced gains in starts, according to Moody's, with a solid rebound in the South, which had seen starts fall flat in June ( ). The Northeast and West posted strong numbers, but largely they were concentrated in multifamily starts.

Meanwhile, both house completions and permits for new houses also improved, the latter likely signaling that companies are planning to build in the near future.

Now at a nine-month high, permits jumped 8.1% from June and sit 7.7% higher year-over-year.

Completions of privately owned housing units climbed 4% to 841,000, a gain almost entirely driven by single-family housing units.

However, "the single-family market is progressing much more slowly, with permits running at only one-half their 2000 pace," said Gregory Bird, Moody's analyst ( ). "Rental housing in benefiting from droves of young adults forming households as the economy has improved, preferring the flexibility of renting and lacking the financial wherewithal to become a homebuyer."

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