Housing starts surged in September, rising 15%, its highest level since the summer of 2008; gains were reports in three out of four regions according to a report from the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Urban Development.

Building permits, a forward-looking economic indicator, also rose significantly by 11.6%, gaining in all four regions according to the report.

The report showed that total privately owned housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 units. August numbers were revised showed an increase of 4.1% percent or 758,000 compared to the originally reported number of 750,000.

House starts rose a dramatic 20.1 percent in the West to a pace of 203,000. The Southern region also showed strong numbers, an increase of 19.9%. The Midwest showed a solid 6.7% increase while the Northwest showed a small decline in housing starts.

These housing numbers represent the highest levels for single-family starts since August of 2008 and for multifamily since September of that year according to the National Association of Home Builders (“NAHB”). The NAHB recently reported that builder confidence once again improved in October for the sixth consecutive month.