Housing starts increased a slight 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 units in August, up from a revised 883,000-unit pace in July, Reuters news reported Wednesday. The increase was far less than expected, with the slowdown blamed on multifamily starts, which fell 11.1% to a pace of 263,000 units.

Groundbreaking for single-family homes, the largest segment of the market, increased 7 percent to a 628,000-unit pace, the highest since February.