US home construction rose 1.5 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction improved a slight 1.5 percent in October, but in a troubling sign, ground breakings for single-family houses fell.

The Commerce Department says housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.23 million, up from 1.21 million in September. The gains came entirely from apartments as starts for single-family houses slipped 1.8 percent last month.

A sharp increase in mortgage rates has led to a marked decline in home construction since May, such that ground breakings have fallen 2.6 percent over the past 12 months.

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage has shot up a full percentage point in the past year to 4.94 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

Permits, an indicator of future activity, declined 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.26 million.

Categories: National News