Housing starts climbed 1.9% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.372 million units, according to Reuters. Economists expected starts to fall to 1.35 million units.
Applications for building permits, a good indication of future activity, rose 1.1% to 1.487 million units in October.
Single-family housing starts rose 0.2% to a rate of 970,000 units, and multifamily starts climbed 4.9% to a rate of 382,000 units. Building permits for single-family homes rose 0.5% to a rate of 968,000 units, and permits for multifamily homes rose 2.2% to a rate of 469,000 units.
The rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 7.79% in late October—the highest since November 2000. It has since retreated and averaged 7.44% during the week of Nov. 13.