Home building spikes in June after dismal spring

WASHINGTON (AP) - Builders broke ground on more single-family homes and apartments in June, as the home-building industry tried to shake off a historically bad spring.

The Commerce Department says builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 629,000 homes last month, a 14.6 percent increase from May. Still, that's roughly half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market.

Apartment construction, a volatile part of the industry, surged 31.8 percent last month. Single-family home construction rose a more modest 9.4 percent. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, increased 2.5 percent.

More homes lead to more jobs. For every home built, three jobs are created for a year and about $90,000 in taxes are generated, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.