The most telling part of this piece is definitely the assessment of renting on the overall picture.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Builders broke ground on more single-family homes and apartments in June, helping the battered construction industry gain a little life after a dismal spring.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 629,000 homes last month, a 14.6 percent increase from May.
Still, that’s roughly half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market. Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, called the gains “just a blip in the overall flat-lining trend of homebuilding activity.”
“We have to see a rebound in job creation to sustain a recovery in housing,” she said.
Much of the increase in June came from a surge in apartment construction, a volatile part of the industry. That sector jumped more than 30 percent last month.
Renting has become a preferred option for many Americans who lost their jobs during the recession and were forced to leave their rapidly depreciating homes. Since 1992, apartments have typically made up just 20 percent of home construction. Now, they make up closer to 30 percent of the market.
Single-family home construction rose 9.4 percent. It was the biggest increase since June 2009, when the recession officially ended. But analysts said the pace of 453,000 homes per year was still too depressed to signal a turnaround.
“The underlying trend of single-family housing starts shows no signs of improving in a significant manner anytime soon,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc.
Building permits, a gauge of future construction, increased 2.5 percent.