A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed a substantial increase in new residential construction in the U.S. in the month of June.
The Commerce Department said housing starts spiked by 17.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.186 million in June after jumping by 8.2 percent to an upwardly revised rate of 1.011 million in May.
Economists had expected housing starts to soar by 20 percent to a rate of 1.169 million from the 974,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The report also said building permits increased by 2.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.241 million in June after surging up by 14.1 to a downwardly revised rate of 1.216 million in May.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to jump by 5.7 percent to a rate of 1.290 million from the 1.220 million originally reported for the previous month.