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Sep 13, 2012

"New housing starts surge 15% in September"

By JIM PUZZANGHERA — Los Angeles Times

"WASHINGTON — New residential construction starts surged 15 percent in September to their highest annual rate in more than four years, as the housing sector continued to show signs of a burgeoning rebound.

The number of new privately owned housing units that began construction was up for the third straight month, and rose in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The figures surpassed economists' expectations of about a 770,000 annual rate.

September had the best monthly performance since July 2008, when housing starts were on an annual pace of 923,000. Compared with last September, new housing starts are up 34.8 percent, the Commerce Department said.

Last month's growth was "surprisingly strong," said David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders."