New US home construction and new building permits both jumped in June, demonstrating rising strength in the housing market, the Commerce Department reports.

New construction was up 9.8 per cent from May to an annual pace of 1,174,000 units, with the greatest strength in multiple unit buildings, the department said on Friday.

Permitting rose 7.4 per cent to an annual pace of 1,343,000 units, the gain also most marked in buildings with five or more units.

For the first six months of the year, housing starts were 10.9 per cent higher than the year-before period, while permits, an indicator of future construction, were up 16.2 per cent.

A geographic breakdown of construction activity still showed pockets of weakness. While construction has been strongest in the Northeast so far this year, up 30.3 per cent, building slowed by 8.2 per cent in the Midwest in the first half of the year.

Home building in the West grew 18.6 per cent and, in the South, 9.2 per cent.