US home construction picks up in June

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: New home construction in the United States picked up in June to the highest pace in nine months, erasing worries about a slowdown, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).

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Total housing starts picked up 4.8 percent from May to an annual pace of 1.19 million units, the best since September and stronger than analysts had forecast.

For the first half of the year, new home construction was up 7.1 percent from a year ago, feeding pent-up demand that is supported by near-record low mortgage rates.

New construction was strongest in the Midwest and the South, while in the Northeast and West, where home prices are highest, construction has slowed.

Economists expect homebuying to remain strong in the United States as household incomes grow on strong hiring and borrowing rates for buyers stay low, helped by stimulus efforts from central banks.

AFP

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