The U.S. Commerce Department released figures this morning showing that home builders across the country sought more permits during August than in any single month in five years, and that starts were up 0.9 percent on an annualized basis. (Here's a link to a complete story at

That national report doesn't include local data, but if you're wondering how builders are doing in the Twin Cities metro, follow this link to a story that I wrote at the end of August, which shows that while apartments represented more than half of all planned units in the Twin Cities for that month, requests for permits to build single-family houses during the first 8 months of the year were up 31 percent compared with the same period the year before. 

- Jim Buchta, residential real estate reporter

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