Homebuilding was far more energetic in July than expected.
U.S. homebuilders began construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.496 million in July, up 22.6 from June, Census Bureau data showed Tuesday. Compared with a year ago, home building activity was 23.4 percent higher than a year ago.
Economists had forecast homes to be built at 1.24 million rate, a 4.6 percent move above the initially reported June level. The July jump was so powerful that it exceeded the high end of forecasts by economists surveyed by Econoday.
June was revised up from a rate of 1.186 million to 1.22 million.
Increases in both single-family and multifamily starts contributed to the rise in building.
Permit applications to build new homes rose at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.495 million, up 18.8 percent from the prior month and 9.4 percent from July 2019