Heady Days For Housing

A surprising bounty's many causes

It wasn't supposed to happen. With fixed mortgage rates up as much as 150 basis points since the start of the year, most economists were expecting the bellwether housing industry to slow significantly by late summer. Instead, sales of new and existing homes have remained strong, and housing starts surged in August to an annual rate of 1.53 million units, their highest level in more than two years, with single-family starts up a sharp 8.3%.

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