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Construction on a new apartment complex continues in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
Build it and they will come.
HOME RUN

Here’s a sign that US housing is about to really take off

By Melvin Backman

The US Census Bureau’s numbers on housing for May are in, and they’re looking really good. Homebuilders started construction on fewer homes, condos, and apartments last month than in April (down to an annual rate of 1 million units from 1.2 million), though a big part of that was making up for lost ground during the winter. Year-over-year growth is still relatively solid.

The indicator with a particularly dramatic rise in May was housing permits. Permits for future construction of homes rose 11.8% to a rate of 1.28 million units, the highest since August 2007. Barclays noted that a big part of the increase came from the spurt in activity from warmer weather in the northeast, which might fade out, but it’s encouraging nonetheless.