WASHINGTON-- The Commerce Department recently reported that housing starts in February increased at the fastest pace in more than three years.

Housing starts rose 2.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.769 million units. January starts were revised upward, to a 1.721 million annual rate from the previously reported 1.678 million pace.

Single-family home starts increased 7.4% to a 1.457 million unit rate, the quickest pace since December 1978, according to the report.

Permits for home construction rose 1.8% to a 1.752 million annual rate.