The number of new homes started in the US jumped in January by nearly 10% to an annual equivalent of 1.3 million homes.
The figure was boosted by a drop-off in building work in December due to heavy snowfall, and represents the second highest level since the financial crisis.
Permits to build new homes also reached a 10-year high, increasing 7.4% to an annual rate of 1.4 million.
Builders more upbeat
“Despite the brutal snowstorm along the East Coast, housing starts rebounded 2.3% to 1.22 million annualised in January after diving more than 8% in December,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.
“Building permits remain elevated. With home ownership turning higher for the first time in 13 years, a record low number of single-family homes on the market, and builders more upbeat than during the housing bubble, residential construction should track higher regardless of what Mother Nature throws at it.”