NORMAN — The health of the nation’s housing industry is often seen as an indicator of overall economic activity. Economists watch housing starts and sales for signs of stability since new construction creates many jobs.
They saw some more positive news this past week.
Applications for permits to build single-family houses rose to the highest level in five years.
The Associated Press reports developers began construction on seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000 homes in June. The Commerce Department said that was nearly 10 percent below May’s total of 928,000.
Most of the drop was due to apartment construction which fell almost 27 percent in June from May. Interest rates are fueling some of the single-family construction. Homebuyers who couldn’t afford new homes five years ago can now with the record low rates.