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November 20, 2012

US Housing Construction Surges

by VOA News

U.S. housing construction surged in October to its highest level in more than four years.

The American housing market has perhaps been the weakest link in the country's sluggish, but steady recovery from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Millions of homeowners lost their homes to bank foreclosures, often after they lost their jobs and were unable to make monthly payments on their housing loans.

But the U.S. government said Tuesday that housing starts advanced 3.6 percent last month compared to September, pushing the annual rate to 894,000. Analysts said that is an indication that more buyers are looking for new housing.

The October rate is the highest level since July 2008, before the worst months of the U.S. recession.

Housing construction plays a key role in the U.S. economy, the world's largest, because home buyers often then spend even more on new furnishings, landscaping and household items.