Housing starts, building permits both take a jump in March

A multi-family condominium project is under construction March 16, 2011 in Des Plaines, Illinois.

By Scott Olson, Getty Images

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Builders broke ground on more new homes last month, giving the weak U.S. housing market a slight boost at the start of the spring buying season.

Home construction rose 7.2% in March from February to a seasonally adjusted 549,000 units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose 11.2% after hitting a five-decade low in February.

Still, the building pace is far below the 1.2 million units a year economists consider healthy. And March’s improvement came after construction fell in February to its second-lowest level on records dating back more than a half-century.

Read the entire article: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2011-04-19-housing-starts-march.htm

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