Housing starts soar in February to strongest since 1998
WASHINGTON--The Commerce Department said that housing starts in February climbed their fastest pace in more than three years, climbing 2.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.769 million units.
January starts were revised upward, to a 1.721 million annual rate from the previously reported 1.678 million pace. The unexpected strength was led by a 7.4 percent hike in single-family home starts, which saw ground broken at 1.457 million unit rate, the quickest pace since December 1978, according to the Commerce Department (www.home.doc.gov).
Permits for home construction--an indicator of future activity--were also up in February, rising 1.8 percent to a 1.752 million annual rate.