New residential construction increased in February, while builders look to put up more homes in the near future to meet rising demand for housing--a positive trend for the broader economic recovery.
Housing starts jumped 0.8% from revised January figures to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
The rate of new construction was slightly higher than economists polled by Bloomberg News expected as both single-family construction and apartment and condo building climbed. New construction fell month-to-month in the West and South, but increased in the Northeast and Midwest.
Compared to February last year, nationwide housing starts increased 27.7%.
Home construction has helped lead the economy out of prior downturns but was stubbornly slow after the latest recession. Lately, however, home building has shown signs of improvement as home prices have risen and the inventory of homes has dwindled.