WASHINGTON — The level of housing starts rose 0.8% in January to a 1.012 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, a smaller gain than expected that reflects a rise in multifamily dwellings, data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department showed.

Single-family starts fell 5.2% in January, the 10th consecutive monthly decline. Multifamily starts rose 22.3% based on a Market News International calculation.

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