(CN) — Construction of new homes surged in June to the fastest pace in four months, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
The government’s statisticians say housing starts climbed 8.3 percent in June, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million.
The accelerated activity was led by a jump in housing starts in the Midwest and Northeast.
Housing starts soared by an eye-opening 83.7 percent in the Northeast and 22 percent in the Midwest.
Meanwhile, sales edged up in the West but declined in the South.
Building permits, an indicator of future construction, were up 7.4 percent to 1.25 million.
The overall gain in the housing start numbers ended three straight monthly declines and marked the strongest pace of building since February.
Home construction has risen 3.9 percent year-to-date, but that slight increase has been unable to make up for the decrease in existing homes being listed for sale.
In response, builders have been focusing most of their efforts on creating new single-family housing stock rather than apartments.
Starts of single-family houses are up 7.9 percent, while construction of multi-family buildings has slipped 4.2 percent.
The median price of a new home sold in May rose 16.8 percent from a year ago to a record $345,800, the government said.