WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau reported total housing production increased 13.2 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.07 million units.

The growth comes from a 39.6 percent gain on multifamily units to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 423,000 units - its fastest pace since January 2006.

"The growth in multifamily production is a very positive development as it shows an expected increase in household formations from young people renting apartments and taking the first step into the housing market," said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe. "These young households will form the demand for ownership in the future."

Single-family housing starts also increase, but by only 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 649,000 units for the month.

In addition, issuance of building permits, which can be an indicator of future building activity, increased 8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.08 million units in April. This increse also was largely due to the gains in the multifamily sector, where permits recorded 21.8 percent growth to 453,000 units.

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