Housing starts were up 3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,288,000 in February, 6.2% ahead of the pace of the same month last year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Single-family housing starts surged 6.5% to a rate of 872,000, 3.2% ahead of the pace of a year earlier. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 396,000, down from 429,000 in January.

Building permits in February declined 6.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000 but remained 4.4% ahead of the February 2016 rate of 1,162,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 832,000; this is 3.1% above the revised January figure of 807,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 334,000 in February, down sharply from 457,000 in January.

Housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,114,000, 5.4% above the revised January estimate of 1,057,000 and 8.7% above the February 2016 rate of 1,025,000. Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 754,000, 6.5% below the revised January rate of 806,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 344,000, up from 247,000 in January.