WASHINGTON — Housing starts rose 2.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 717,000 in April from the upwardly revised 699,000 for March, originally reported as 654,000, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Building permits fell 7.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 715,000 in April from the upwardly revised March rate of 769,000, originally reported as 747,000. The upward revision for March made that month the strongest for permits since 797,000 were issued in September 2008.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.