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New home construction up 15 percent: report

In another sign things are looking up for the battered housing market, home building hit a four-year peak last month.

Groundbreakings on new residential construction jumped 15% in September, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

That brought the total to an annualized rate of 872,000 units, the fastest pace since July 2008.

Home-building permits were up 11.6%, indicating more building to come. The data add to a stream of good reports on sales, prices and builder sentiment.

“After being virtually dead for five years, the housing market is finally coming back to life . . . even though it’s well below its peak,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

But a separate report showed the New York City housing market was still on its heels. Home prices in Brooklyn and Queens dipped slightly in the third quarter of 2012, according to Prudential Douglas Elliman.

The median price of a home in Brooklyn slipped 0.8% to $506,000, compared with the same quarter last year, while sales fell 2.22% to 2,171.

In Queens, the median home price was $370,000, down 3.9% from last year. Sales fell 8.5% to 2,509.

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