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U.S. Housing Starts Rise Unexpectedly on Multifamily Building

  • New home construction increases 1.4% to a nine-month high
  • Applications to build houses reach highest since January 2021
A worker installs roofing on an apartment complex under construction in Lehi, Utah.

A worker installs roofing on an apartment complex under construction in Lehi, Utah.

Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg
Updated on

New U.S. home construction unexpectedly strengthened in December to the fastest pace in nine months, led by apartment projects and suggesting builders found some success navigating shortages of materials and labor.

Residential starts rose 1.4% to a 1.70 million annualized rate from a 1.68 million pace in November, according to government data released Wednesday. For all of 2021, 1.6 million homes were started, a 15.6% surge from the prior year and the most since 2006.