In another promising sign for the economy, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Wednesday that housing starts had jumped to a seasonally adjusted 872,000 in September. That's an increase of nearly 35% year-over-year and up 15% over August's statistic. Bloomberg reports that this is the highest number of starts since July 2008 and well ahead of what the economists it polled ahead of time had expected.

While foreclosures have left many unsold homes on the market, record-low mortgage rates have ignited demand across the country. New building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose to 894,000 in September, blowing away August's 801,000 recorded new permits by 11.6%.

 The South saw the largest amount of new home starts  in the month, recording 451,000 units. Three of the four U.S. regions saw increased total housing starts for the month compared to August; only the Northeast witnessed a decline.

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