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By Sho Chandra on February 16, 2018
U.S. new-home construction rose in January to the highest level since October 2016, helped by a surge in apartment building, as momentum in the housing market continues into 2018, government figures showed Friday.
Highlights of Housing Starts (January)
The results are a positive sign that homebuilding will continue its advance after the best year for new construction in a decade. Demand is expected to be supported by steady hiring and elevated confidence to make big purchases.
The only region to suffer a setback in beginning construction last month was the Midwest, which was impacted by severe winter weather.
In an indication that builders will be busy in coming months, 158,000 homes were authorized but not yet started in January. That was the most since June 2008. The number of homes currently under construction reached the highest level since August 2007.
A gauge of homebuilders’ confidence is near the highest level since 1999, indicating developers expect a good year. Nonetheless, the industry faces hurdles that include a recent spike in mortgage rates, a shortage of workers, rising costs for materials and a scarcity of ready-to-build lots.
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