Builders began work on more homes than forecast in January, reflecting a surge in multifamily units.
Housing starts climbed 15 percent to a 596,000 annual rate, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 539,000 rate. Work started on 78 percent more dwellings with two or more units, overshadowing a drop in single-family houses that indicates the housing market continues to struggle.
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