Washington, DC, Oct. 17, 2012 -- New home construction rose by 15% in September to an annual rate of 872,000, the highest level in more than four years, according to the Commerce Department.
Also, building permits shot up to a four-year high, rising 11.6% to an annual rate of 894,000.
Permits for single-family homes, which account for about three-quarters of the housing market, rose 6.7% to an annual rate of 545,000 last month.
Permits for multi-family housing rose three times faster.
Economists had expected starts to increase to an annual rate of 770,000.
In addition, housing starts in August were revised up to 758,000 from an original reading of 750,000.