Washington, DC, Aug. 16, 2013 -- Construction starts and building permits both rose in July, according to the Commerce Department.
Construction on new U.S. homes rose 5.9% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000.
Multi-family starts, those buildings with at least five housing units, rose 25.5%, while starts for single-family homes declined 2.2%.
Economists expected overall housing starts in July to hit an annual rate of 915,000.
Also Friday, the government said that building permits rose 2.7% in July to an annual rate of 943,000.
Permits for buildings with at least five units increased 13.5%, while permits for single-family homes decreased 1.9%.