(Dow Jones) US housing starts rose last month to the highest level in a year, a sign home builders are getting back on track after hurricane activity weighed on residential construction in September.
Housing starts increased 13.7% in October from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.290 million, the Commerce Department said Friday. Residential building permits, which can signal how much construction is in the pipeline, rose 5.9% to an annual pace of 1.297 million last month.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 4.4% increase for starts and a 2.9% increase for permits.
Highest level in a decade
Housing starts for single-family homes in the South were at the highest level in a decade in October, rising 16.6% from September.
September starts were held down by the effects of hurricanes Irma and Harvey. They were revised up to a 1.135 million annual pace from an initial estimate of 1.127 million. September permits, which tend to be more reliable, were revised up to a 1.225 million rate from 1.215 million.