Housing up 1.5%, Apartments up 25%

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The Wall Street Journal reports, “Housing starts climbed a less-than-expected 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted 598,000 annual rate compared to the prior month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Building permits also increased last month.  Single-family starts in August compared to the prior month retreated 3.0% to 479,000, a modest pullback after five straight increases that accumulated with the steady rise in new-home sales.  As for the beleaguered apartment market, construction of housing with two or more units jumped 25.3% to 119,000. Within that multi-family category, groundbreakings of homes with five or more units were 35.3% higher on the month — and down 48.2% on the year.”