The increase, fueled by the rising number of renters, is the greatest since April 2010. Highest increases were in the south and west regions of the country.
However, the number of new building applications – a measure of future construction – dropped 5%.
Consumer prices climbed the lowest in 3 months, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures.
Hourly wages when adjusted for inflation, were down 1.9% in the last 12 months. Some retailers are absorbing increased wholesale costs due to the weakness of the consumers.