Housing starts up 24.5 percent from a year ago

Builder confidence now at a 6-year high

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Housing starts picked up 2.3 percent from July to August and were up 24.5 percent from August 2011, according to the latest numbers from the Census Bureau.

Builders started construction on new homes and apartment units during August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000, up from 733,000 in June and 581,000 a year ago, the Census Bureau said.