Housing starts increased 0.8% in February, and building permits rose to the highest level in five years, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Starts rose to an annual rate of 917,000 units, higher than economists’ median forecast of 915,000, Bloomberg News reported.
Applications for building permits rose 4.6% to a 946,000 annual rate in February, the highest since June 2008.
January starts were revised up to 910,000 from an originally reported 890,000.
Single-family home starts in January rose 0.5% to a 618,000 rate, the highest since June 2008.
Work on multifamily units, which is often more volatile, rose 1.4% to an annual rate of 299,000.