Single-family housing starts rose by 3.7% in August to a level of 919,000 units. Multi-family starts rose a whopping 32.8%, to 445,999 units. Multi-family units are generally extremely volatile month-to-month. The trend there has been flat for the last four months, and it is a good bet that the August gain is mere random fluctuation. The single-family gain is another story altogether, and an interesting one.