Housing Starts Show Surprising Rise

Low mortgage rates and unseasonably warm weather continued to boost housing activity

U.S. housing starts climbed 2.8% in February to 1.769 million, contrary to expectations of a decline. The increase leaves starts growing at the highest rate since December of 1998 and at the fastest pace since December of 1978. The gain follows an upwardly revised 1.721 million January pace from 1.678 million previously.

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