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Home construction hits highest pace in 5 years

WASHINGTON – U.S. builders last month broke ground on homes at the fastest pace in more than five years, evidence the housing recovery is accelerating despite higher mortgage rates.

The Commerce Department said developers began construction on houses and apartments in November at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million. That’s the fastest pace since February 2008, just a few months after the recession began.

Construction of single-family homes jumped 21 percent to an annual pace of 727,000, also the highest in more than five years. Apartment construction soared 26 percent to a 354,000 annual pace.

Permits for future building slipped 3 percent to just over 1 million, down from 1.04 million in October. The drop reflected a decline in apartments, which can be volatile. Permits for single-family homes rose.

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