Twin Cities homebuilding activity continues to rebound.
Builders this month pulled 533 permits for new projects -- 32 percent more than last July -- while permits for single-family homes reached their highest level in six years.
Construction of multifamily housing projects like apartment buildings slowed in July but single-family construction remained strong the Builders Association of the Twin Cities said. The dollar value of permitted projects also spiked.
The local numbers echo national reports out this week indicating vitality in the homebuilding sector. New home sales nationally hit a five-year high, and builder optimism also surged.
Some analysts warn that rising interest rates could dampen the housing recovery. Orders at Pulte Group Inc. and D.R. Horton Inc., the nation's largest homebuilders, were below analyst expectations for the quarter ending in June.
But housing economist Elliot Eisenberg says recent upticks in interest rates are positive, as they signal economic improvement.
Homebuilder confidence is on the rise nationally and locally and rising rates won't derail the progress made, said Pam Belz, president of the Twin Cities builders group.
"Any increase in interest rates will, of course, eliminate a few people from being able to purchase," Belz said. But with rates hovering near historic lows, she added, they're "still in a good place."