August housing starts saw the largest gain in 12 years, exceeding experts' predictions in July with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.36 million units. Rising more than 12%, the surge in housing starts was attributed to a signification increase in the multifamily housing sector, where the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said starts increased just shy of 33% at a pace of 445,000.
"Housing has been on an upswing in recent months as the pace of permits and starts has been rising since spring," NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a Sept. 18 NAHB report. "While these are positive developments, single-family starts are down 2.7% year-to-date as the catch-up process continues."
Despite the year-over-year decline, single-family increased month-over-month by roughly 4.5%. Regionally, single-family and multifamily housing starts only rose in the South, while declining in the West, Midwest and Northeast.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate