WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- Home building starts and permits for private construction projects rose modestly in February from January, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Tuesday.
The department said project starts rose 0.8 percent from January's revised figure of 910,000 starts on a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
The 917,000 starts for February are also 27.7 percent above February 2012 when projects starts came to 718,000.
At 946,000, the number of permits issued for private projects was a more solid 4.6 percent gain over January and a 33.8 percent gain over February 2012 when 707,000 permits were issued.
Residential project completions came to an annual rate of 711,000 in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, a 0.6 percent drop from January, but a 24.3 percent increase from February 2012, commerce said in a release issued with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.