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Housing Starts, Permit Requests Surge in Oct.

November 20, 1998| Reuters

Construction starts on new homes and apartments jumped at the fastest rate in more than a year during October, as cheap mortgage rates and a revival in the stock market fueled building. Total starts increased an unexpectedly strong 7.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.7 million units, the Commerce Department said. Permit applications soared 9.9% to a rate of 1.7 million units, the strongest rate since January 1990, when they increased 22.9% to 1.75 million a year. The increase in October building exceeded Wall Street economists' forecasts for a slight pickup to 1.6 million units a year. Starts on single-family homes rose 3%, while starts on apartments soared 23.6%.

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