Washington  –  US homebuilding surged to more than a 12-year high in August as both single- and multi-family housing construction accelerated, suggesting that lower mortgage rates were finally providing a boost to the struggling housing market.

The report from the commerce department on Wednesday also showed permits for future home construction rose to levels last seen in 2007. Housing and manufacturing have been the weak spots in the economy, which is now in its 11th year of expansion, the longest in history...

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