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Housing starts surge to the highest level since November 2007

Akin Oyedele

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Housing starts crushed expectations in April.

Housing starts rose 20.2% in April to an annualized pace of 1.135 million, the highest level since November 2007.

Building permits rose 10.1% to an annualized pace of 1.143 million.

Economists had expected that starts rose 9.6% to an annualized pace of 1.01 million, while building permits rose 2.1% to an annualized pace of 1.06 million.

"We expect housing starts once again breached the psychologically important 1 million unit mark in April," Wells Fargo wrote in a note to clients ahead of the release.

Last month, the data showed a big miss in March starts. The pace of starts climbed just 2.0% to an annualized rate of 926,000 units – well below the 1.04 million units expected.

On Monday, the National Association of Homebuilders' index that measures sentiment showed a drop below expectations to 54 in May, although the index is still above the 50-point benchmark. 


More to come ...

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