U.S. housing starts climbed 12.1 percent in December, the highest levels in more than four years, according to a new report from the Commerce Department. Builders began construction of single-family homes and apartments at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000, the fastest pace since 2008, USA Today reports in the article, “Housing starts jump in December.”

“Construction joined the housing recovery in 2012,” as builders bet on markets with strong job growth and low vacancy rates, Jed Kolko, an economist with real estate website Trulia, told USA Today.

In other news:

CFPB launches national mortgage servicing rulesHousingWire

Dual-Track Foreclosures Limited Under U.S. Consumer Bureau RulesBloomberg

Brokers see new interest in commercial propertiesKane County Chronicle