Housing Starts Climb 2.1 Percent As Apartment Building Revives

HOUSING starts rose 2.1 percent in August, boosted by a double-digit jump in apartment construction, the Commerce Department said yesterday. But single-family construction was hurt by higher mortgage rates.

Strong gains in the Northeast and South offset declines in the Midwest and West. Starts totaled 1.44 million at an annual rate, up from a revised 1.41 million in July. Apartment construction surged 28.5 percent, to a 275,000 annual rate, on top of a 9.7 percent advance in July. But single-family starts dropped 2.7 percent for the sixth decline this year.

David Lereah of the Mortgage Bankers Association says he expects mortgage rates to reach about 9 percent by the end of 1994, from under 7 percent nearly a year ago, and approach 10 percent by the end of 1995.

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