Housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units, a drop of 6.8 percent from February’s rate of 1.30 million but a 9.2 percent increase from the rate in March 2016 of 1.11 million, according to the United States Census Bureau.

Single-family starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 821,000, a 6.2 percent decline from February’s rate of 875,000. Multifamily units were at a rate of 385,000, 2.7 percent decrease from February’s rate of 396,000.

"The three-month moving average for single-family starts has reached a post-recession high, which shows that this sector is continuing to firm," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz in a statement. "We can expect further gains in single-family production throughout the year, while multifamily starts should level off."

Combined production in the Northeast rose 12.9 percent to 69,000 and fell in other regions: 2.9 percent to 645,000 in the South, 16 percent to 284,000 in the West and 16.2 percent in the Midwest to 155,000.