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Construction started on new home in the U.S. in October at a faster pace than expected, with a sharp rise in single-family homebuilding.

Residential starts increased 4.9 to a 1.53 million annualized rate from a month earlier, according to a government report released Wednesday. The median forecast in an Econoday survey of economists called for a 1.46 million pace. Applications to build, a proxy for future construction, held steady at a 1.54 million rate, slightly below forecasts.

Single-family home construction jumped 6.4 percent to an annualized rate of 1.179 million.

Total home starts were 14.2 percent higher than a year ago. Single-family home starts are up 29.4 percent compared with last October.

September’s starts figure was revised up from 1.415 million to 1.459 million.

Construction on projects with five or more units fell 3.2 percent in October and is down 19.9 percent from a year ago, a reflection of the fact that urban apartments have fallen out of favor in the current market.

Rock-bottom mortgage rates, families looking for more space and distance from increasingly dangerous urban areas has set off a boom in suburban real estate markets.
 

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