Home construction breaks new ground

The economy may still be down, but wood frames, plywood, and Tyvek are still going up.

Last month, home builders broke ground on the largest number of new projects in nearly two years, aided by low mortgage rates and mild weather. Construction climbed to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.68 million units - the highest level since February 2000.

Along with low mortgage rates, the appreciation of housing values - in contrast to a flagging stock market - has motivated many new-home buyers, especially in the Northeast and West.

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