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US housing starts jump to 12-year high in August

The rate of new home construction in the US raced to its highest level in more than 12 years in August, against a backdrop of declining borrowing costs after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.

New housing starts jumped 12.3 per cent month-on-month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.364m last month from an upwardly revised 1.215m (previously 1.191m), sailing past the median forecast from Wall Street for 1.3m.

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It was the quickest rate for starts since June 2007. Permits to build new homes also leapt to their highest since that same date, to a rate of 1.419m in August from 1.317m in July and also comfortably above analysts’ predictions.

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