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story.lead_photo.caption Lumber is piled at a housing construction site, Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Middleton, Mass. Home construction in the U.S. rose a strong 6.3% in June, another big swing in what has been an up-and-down year so far. The rise in June put home construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.64 million units, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, July 20. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Home construction in the U.S. jumped 6.3 percent in June, another big swing in a volatile year.

The rise in June put home construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.64 million units, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Home construction starts rose 12.6 percent in the West and 9.7 percent in the South, offsetting high single-digit declines in the Northeast and Midwest.

Applications for building permits, which are used to forecast future activity, declined 5.1 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.59 million units. Applications for permits declined in all four regions. Those declines could validate some economists’ predictions that the surge in home building and sales over the past year may begin to slow, especially for single-family homes.

Supply chain problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic have hamstrung builders, who have faced material shortages and inflated prices for lumber, though the latter has moderated somewhat, at least at the wholesale level.

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