Construction of newly built homes jumped a surprising 10.5% in August from July, the government said Tuesday, though most of the increase came from the volatile apartment building sector.
Housing sales and new construction have struggled in recent months with the expiration of a popular tax credit for buyers, and most economists predict weakness for housing this year. The number of new permits filed for construction, another closely watched indicator of building activity, was up 1.8% in August over July, the Commerce Department said.
“It is hard to get too excited,” said Paul Dales, U.S. economist for Toronto-based Capital Economics. “Homebuilding activity remains at an astoundingly weak level.”
WATCH: MICHAEL VICK’S REHABILITATED DOGS FIND HOMES