The rate at which builders began work on new homes surged to a four-year high, the Commerce Department said today.

The AP reports that September clocked the fastest pace since July of 2008. The AP adds:

"The Commerce Department says builders broke ground at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 in September. That's an increase of 15% from August."Applications for building permits, a sign of future construction, jumped nearly 12% to an annual rate of 894,000, also the highest since July 2008."The strength in September came from both single-family construction, which rose 11%, and apartments, which increased 25.1%."

Bloomberg reports that this is a sign of recovery but "the level of starts remains below the pre-recession peak, limiting how much the industry can boost the rate of expansion."

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