U.S. homebuilders broke ground on more houses in July and applications for building permits also increased compared with the prior month, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Tuesday.
U.S. privately-owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,093,000 last month. It was 15.7 percent above the revised June estimate of 945,000, and was 21.7 percent above the year-ago level.
Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 656,000, 8.3 percent above the revised June figure of 606,000.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits, a gauge of future construction, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,052,000, up 8.1 percent from the revised June rate. It was 7.7 percent above the July 2013 estimate.
The U.S. housing market has showed signs of slowdown since the second half of last year, as sharp increases in home prices and limited inventories, as well as higher mortgage rates, have discouraged many home buyers.