The consensus range for housing starts was 1.100M to 1.205M. The actual number was 1.206M to just squeak out a positive surprise to the upside.
Housing starts rose 6.5%. The multi-family component rocketed higher by 18.3% to 466K. Single family starts were only up 0.3% to 740K. Once again it's a situation of growing demand for apartments due to consumers who can't afford to buy a house.
The permit component of the report dropped -5% to 1.103M.