February Increase in Single-Family Starts Strongest in 20 Years

Overall housing starts rose 2.8 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.77 million units, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The gain was due entirely to the single-family sector, where starts rose 7.4 percent to a rate of 1.46 million units — their fastest pace since December 1978.

Multi-family starts, typically more volatile, retreated 14.3 percent to an annual rate of 312,000 units, partially offsetting a substantial gain registered in January. Starts

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