Construction started on new homes in September in the U.S. at the fastest rate since July 2008, before the onset of the Great Recession.
Housing starts increased 15 percent last month from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 units, according to the Commerce Department.
At the same time the number of housing permits issued in September rose by 11.6 percent, suggesting that the momentum in housing starts will be maintained in the months ahead.
The strengthening of the U.S. housing market was foreshadowed by the strong growth of containerized furniture imports this year. Containerized furniture imports grew 6.9 percent in the second quarter of 2012 over the second quarter of 2011 and grew 10 percent compared to the first quarter of the year, according to data from PIERS, a JOC sister company.
Housing starts advanced 34.8 percent in September over the same month last year, a faster rate than August’s 30.5 percent year-over-year growth rate.
The continuing increase in housing starts month-to-month indicates that the U.S. housing market has bottomed out and may fuel a further rise in furniture imports, which constitute the largest containerized import.