U.S. builders ramped up home construction in December, led by a surge of apartment building, while single-family houses lagged.

Housing starts jumped 11.3 per cent last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2 million, the Commerce Department said Thursday . The figures are volatile month to month: Starts plummeted in November after a big gain in October. Apartment construction soared 53.9 per cent last month, while single-family…