Led by a steep jump in apartment house construction, nationwide housing starts rose 9.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.174 million units in June.
Newly-released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department shows that multifamily housing production was up 29.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 489,000 units while single-family starts edged down 0.9% to 685,000 units.
"The multifamily gains this month are encouraging and show that the millennial generation continues to be drawn to the rental market," said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe agreed.
"While builders are reporting overall confidence in the housing market, they continue to note difficulties accessing land and labor," Crowe said. "These headwinds appear to be affecting production gains in the single-family sector."
Regionally in June, combined single- and multifamily starts rose by 35.5% in the Northeast and 13.5% in the South, although the Midwest and West posted respective losses of 0.7% and 6.0%.
Multifamily permits rose 15.3% to a rate of 656,000. Single-family permits inched 0.9% to 687,000.
All four regions posted permit gains in June, with the West posting a 9.5% increase. The Northeast, Midwest and South posted respective permit gains of 2.8%, 2.9% and 10.4%.