Housing starts rebounded in July, according to numbers from the Commerce Department released today. Privately owned starts increased by 8.3% in July to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.978 million units compared to 1.826 million in June. The market had expected only a showing of a 1.87 million annual rate. Meanwhile, single-family housing starts increased 8.5% to a 1.651 million units annualized rate. This tops June's 1.522 million units. Building permits increased as well in July to a 2.055 million annualized rate, up 5.7% from year-ago levels. Though many thought that the June numbers were on the low side, analysts still believe that today's results are a testament to the continued strength in the housing market. There are also other factors that point to sustained growth in housing including the current historically low mortgage rates. Last week's primary mortgage market survey from Freddie Mac showed the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.85% for the week ending August 12.
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