Housing data brightens U.S. economic growth outlook

A new subdivision project of residential homes in shown in Glenelg, MarylandBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Permits for future U.S. home construction hit a near 5-1/2 year-high in October and prices for single-family homes notched big gains in September, suggesting a run-up in mortgage interest rates has not derailed the housing recovery. The data releases on Tuesday were the latest signs of strength in the economy, despite headwinds from rising mortgage rates and last month's partial government shutdown. "The reports reinforce the notion that the housing sector is successfully digesting the summer mortgage rate pop," said Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics in Boulder, Colorado. Building permits jumped 6.2 percent last month to an annual rate of 1.03 million units, the highest since June 2008, the Commerce Department said.



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