U.S. housing starts fell 9.9 percent to 836,000 in June, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, in a drop that far exceeded analyst expectations.

Analysts polled by Briefing.com expected, on average, a 3.9 percent rise to 958,000 in June, up from the May level of 914,000. The decline was led by a huge 26 percent drop in the multi-unit sector.

Privately owned housing starts in June dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000, which is 9.9 percent below the revised May estimate of 928,000, but is 10.4 percent above the June 2012 rate of 757,000. 

Single-family housing starts in June came in at a rate of 591,000, down 0.8 percent from the revised May figure of 596,000.