Work was begun on 0.8 percent more single-family homes in January than had been started the month before, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say.
And the number of single-family starts was up 20 percent from January 2012.
A 26.1 percent drop in starts, from December to January, on construction of apartment buildings and other multi-family homes dampened the news somewhat.
But looking ahead, there was a 1.9 percent increase in January from December in the number of permits issued for construction of single-family homes. The number of such permits was up 29.2 percent from January 2012.
The increase in permits, says Reuters, reinforces expectations that "the housing market will support economic growth this year."
Also this morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that wholesale prices rose 0.2 percent in January from February.