Fueled by strong single- and multifamily growth, housing starts rose 15.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.093 million units in July, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest number since November 2013.

“A return to production levels over one million confirms consumer confidence continues to improve,” said Kevin Kelly. “Propelled by a healthier economy, more and more people are feeling ready to buy a home.”

Single-family housing starts were up 8.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 656,000 units in July, while multifamily production jumped 28.9% to 437,000 units. Multifamily production has not been this high since February 2006.

Regionally in July, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose in the Northeast, South and West, with respective gains of 44 percent, 29 percent and 18.6 percent. Total production fell by 24.8 percent in the Midwest from an unusually high June level.

Issuance of building permits registered an 8.1 percent increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.052 million units in July. Multifamily permits rose 21.5 percent to 412,000 units while single-family permits increased by 0.9 percent to 640,000 units.

The Northeast, South and West registered overall permit gains of 18.8 percent, 9.6 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, while the Midwest posted a 0.6 percent loss.