According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 717,000. That’s 2.6 percent above March’s revised number and 29.9 percent above April 2011. Single-family housing starts were also up in April, rising 2.3 percent from the month before. And though total building permits fell after rising 4.5 percent in March, single-family authorizations were at a rate of 475,000, which is a 1.9 percent increase over March’s revised figure of 466,000. More here.