WASHINGTON (National Association of Home Builders) – April housing starts moved upward, sending an encouraging message to builders, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Nationally, housing production jumped 2.6 percent over revised numbers from March, to 717,000 units. NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe believes that increase is “very solid for this point of the [economic] recovery.”

Regionally, the South posted the highest gain in home starts, at 11.6 percent, while the Northeast had the sharpest decline at 20.7 percent.

The number of building permits issued, however, fell 7 percent to an adjusted rate of 715,000 units in April. The loss was entirely on the “more volatile” multifamily side, NAHB reports.