WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. builders broke ground on the most new homes and apartments in nearly four years last month, driven by a jump in single-family home construction. The increase is the latest evidence of a slow housing recovery.
The Commerce Department says housing starts rose 6.9 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000. That's the highest since October 2008. Construction of apartments also rose after falling in May.
The number of permits to build homes fell 3.7 percent to 755,000, down from May's three-and-a-half-year high. Permits for apartments fell, while permits for single-family homes edged up to the highest level since March 2010.
Despite the gains, the level of housing starts and permits are roughly half what economists consider healthy.