Construction estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show privately-owned housing starts up 14.6 percent, with single-family home construction rising 9.4 percent. The increase, which surpassed economists expectations for the month, brought new residential construction to a six-month high. Also in the report, building permits, which are an indicator of future activity, were up 2.5 percent above May’s rate and 6.7 percent above last June. More here and here.