Construction on new U.S. homes increased by 0.9 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000, as starts for single-family homes rose, while volatile apartment starts dropped, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimated Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected overall housing starts in August to hit an annual rate of 921,000, compared with an originally estimated July starts rate of 896,000. The government revised July's starts rate to 883,000. In August, starts for single-family homes rose 7 percent, while starts in buildings with at least five units fell 9.4 percent. Overall starts in August were up 19% from the same period in the prior year, pointing to a continuing rebound, though there's concern that rising mortgage rates are slowing down the housing market's recovery. Also Wednesday, the government reported that building permits, a sign of future demand, fell 3.8 percent in August to an annual rate of 918,000.