US home construction falls 5.1% in August after gains

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Workers toil on a multifamily dwelling Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Winter Park, Colo. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday, Aug. 18, construction of new U.S. homes surged 22.6% last month as homebuilders continued to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. housing construction fell 5.1% in August after three months of strong gains as home builders mounted a rebound following a pandemic-induced shutdown in March and April.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that new homes were started at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.42 million last month after a 17.9% surge in July.

The August drop was bigger than expected but still left housing construction 51.6% above the low hit in April.

A builders’ survey of sentiment this week found strong optimism that home building is on the upswing.

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