The real estate market has seen very tight inventories for some time, so August’s uptick in new single-family home starts is welcome news.

Single-family housing starts rose 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.02 million – the highest production rate since February.

“Low interest rates and solid demand are spurring single-family construction growth, which makes up the bulk of the housing market,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Home Builders Association (NAHB.) “Single-family permits continue to rise as well, and are now up almost 7% on a year-to-date basis.”

On a regional and year-to-date basis (January through August compared to the same period the previous year), combined single-family and multifamily starts were up 13.6% in the Midwest, up 5.4% in the South, up 3.8% in the West, and down 4.5% in the Northeast.

Overall, permits dwindled 0.9% to a 1.47 million-unit annualized rate in August. Single-family permits jumped 6% to a 1.04 million-unit rate, while multifamily permits plunged 14.2% to a 434,000 pace.

Regionally, year-to-date permits were 2.6% higher in the Midwest, 4.8% higher in the South, 8.2% lower in the Northeast, and 1.3% lower in the West.