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Housing starts and permits surge; levels still low

December 20, 2011 • Business, National News


In this Nov. 22, 2011 photo, construction worker Will Capper works on a new house in Palo Alto, Calif. A surge in apartment construction gave builders more work in November. But 2011 is still shaping up to be one of the worst years in history for homebuilders. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge in apartment construction gave home builders more work in November. And permits, a gauge of future construction, rose largely because of a jump in apartment permits.

The rise in permits provides hope for the housing market, though 2011 is still shaping up as one of the worst years in history for homebuilders.

Builders broke ground on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 homes last month, a 9.3 percent jump from October, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It’s the highest level since April 2010. Still, the rate is far below the 1.2 million homes that economists say would be Login to read more

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