Apartment construction spurs rise in new homes


WASHINGTON — U.S. developers broke ground on homes at a faster pace in July. But the rise was all because of apartment construction, which is typically volatile. By contrast, builders began work on fewer single-family homes — the bulk of the market — and sought fewer permits to build them.

Friday’s Commerce Department report suggests home building is holding its recovery but might be starting to be restrained by higher mortgage rates. Builders began work on houses and apartments at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000 in July, up from 6 percent in June, the department said. Building began on 26 percent more apartments but fell 2.2 percent for single-family houses.