The numbers: U.S. builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million in October, representing a 4.9% increase from the previous month’s figure, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.
Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.545 million in October, unchanged from September.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to occur at a pace of 1.49 million and building permits to come in at a pace of 1.57 million.
What happened: The upsurge in housing starts was driven by a 6.4% rise in single-family starts, as multifamily construction activity dipped once again, this time by 3.2%.
All regions except the Northeast experienced an increase in housing starts despite rising coronavirus cases across many parts of the country, led by the 12.9% increase in the South. Permitting rose slightly in the South, West and Midwest, but fell markedly in the