Home Construction Surges to Strongest Pace in a Year

(CN) — Construction of new homes jumped  13.7 percent in October, the largest monthly increase in a year as builders broke ground on more apartments and single-family houses, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The government said the monthly gain put housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million units.

That is the best pace for home construction in 12 months.

Housing starts have risen just 2.4 percent year-to-date, largely because fewer apartment complexes are being built.

Single-family house construction has driven much of the growth this year in a sign of greater demand from buyers amid a healthy job market.

But recent building trends reversed themselves somewhat in October, with most of the momentum coming from apartment construction.

The building of multi-family properties jumped 37.4 percent in October. Construction of single-family houses increased 5.3 percent.

Housing starts in the South soared 17.2 percent in October to 621,000 units, with single-family construction vaulting 16.6 percent to its highest level since 2007. There were also increases in home building in the Midwest and Northeast.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose 5.9 percent in October to 1.3 million, the highest level since January, the Commerce Department said.  Single-family home permits rose 1.9 percent, while permits for the construction of multi-family homes jumped 13.9 percent.

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