A month earlier, the department said there were 754,000 private home construction starts in July.
Housing starts for August are estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000, which is 29.1 percent above the 581,000 starts in August 2011.
In August, project permits issued -- representing construction starts one and two months down the road -- fell by 1 percent month-to-month.
At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 803,000, permits issued came in 24.5 percent above August 2011. In the meantime, the annual rate for July was lowered by 1,000 to 811,000.
The department said 689,000 privately owned housing construction projects were completed in August on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.
There were 0.7 percent more completions in the month than in July, where a revised estimate put upwardly revised completions rate of 684,000.
The number of completed projects in the month came in 11.7 percent higher than August 2011 when an estimated 617,000 projects were completed, the department said.