Housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 890,000, which was 23.6 percent above January 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 724,000, which was 33.6 percent above the January 2012 rate.
Building permits came in at 925,000, or 35.2 percent above the same month a year ago, the joint release said.
In 2012, U.S. builders started on 780,000 homes, which was 28.1 percent above 2011.
An estimated 651,400 housing units were completed in 2012. That was up 11.4 percent over 2011.