Single-family starts increased 14.7% in April when compared to the previous year.

The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in April rose 20.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,135,000 units, compared to the revised March estimate of 944,000 units. Single-family starts increased 16.7%. Volatile multifamily starts rose 27.2%. Overall, housing unit starts were up 9.2% in April when compared to the previous year.

Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,143,000 units, 10.1% above the revised March rate of 1,038,000 units.

“This is an all-around encouraging report,” said John Johnston, CEO of South Pacific Financial Corporation, a residential mortgage company based in Irvine, California. “Recent reports regarding the housing market have been tepid at best, most likely reflecting difficult winter weather. With that behind us we’re clearly seeing the results of pent-up demand.”