U.S. builders broke ground on more apartment buildings last month, pushing up overall home construction 1.9 percent.
The Commerce Department says housing starts rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.32 million, driven by a big 16 percent gain in apartment buildings. Single-family home construction slipped 3.7 percent.
Home construction has grown steadily since the housing crash bottomed out in 2012 and has emerged as a potential source of long-term economic growth. The pace of homebuilding is still below its long-run average of about 1.5 million houses and apartments a year. And millennials are increasingly moving out on their own and seeking to buy homes.
Home construction rose nearly 11 percent in March from a year earlier, the government said. Single-family home construction is up 5.2 percent.