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UPDATE

Home building hits a record pace

November 23, 2003|From Times wire reports

Residential construction in October reached the highest level of activity nationwide since 1986.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that builders broke ground on 1.96 million units, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, representing a 2.9% increase from September's pace.

New single-family homes reached a record high pace of 1.62 million units, a 5.7% increase from September.

Construction of apartments, condominiums and other multifamily housing declined by 3% in October to a rate of 319,000 units.

The report also showed that housing permits -- considered a good barometer of current demand -- rose by 5.2% in October to a rate of 1.97 million units, the strongest pace since February 1984.

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