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.