Housing starts unexpectedly rose in June as construction of single-family dwellings jumped by the most since 2004, signaling the market is stabilizing.
The 3.6% increase brought starts to an annual rate of 582,000, the highest level since November, and followed a 562,000 pace in May that was higher than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Building permits, a sign of future construction, rose the most in a year.
"Builders are beginning to see some opportunities to get back to work," said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte.
Though a strong rebound in "not likely for some time," Vitner said, "it seems clear that housing starts bottomed in the first quarter."
Economists forecast starts would fall to a 530,000 pace, from a previously reported 532,000 in May, according to the median of 73 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Last month's reading exceeded the highest estimate, with projections ranging from 479,000 to 564,000.