The number of building permits issued last month made July one of the strongest months for the multifamily industry so far this year, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

The seasonally adjusted, annual rate of new permits was 299,000, with 25,000 for buildings with 2 to 4 units and 274,000 for buildings with 5+ units. That’s an 11.2 percent increase from June, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Nationwide, the number of permits for both single family and multifamily was up 6.8 percent,to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 812,000 units in July, the fastest pace in nearly four years.

Here’s a look at the number of new multifamily permits issued for buildings with 2-4 units and 5+ units by month for 2012 (in thousands):