The Commerce Department says construction of new homes and apartments rose 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 last month.
Single-family housing starts rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 535,000 homes, the best pace since April 2010.
Apartment construction fell 4.9 percent.
Applications for building permits fell 1 percent to an annual rate of 803,000, down from a four-year high in July.
Even with the gains, the rate of construction and level of permits still remain only about half the pace considered healthy.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)