New construction of US homes rose sharply in December, led by a surge in the key single-family house sector, government data shows.

Private housing starts leaped 4.4 per cent from November to an annual rate of 1.089 million, the Commerce Department said stated. That was well above the 1.040 million pace expected by analysts. For all of 2014, housing starts were up a solid 8.8 per cent from 2013, at a rate…