Economic Report: U.S. housing starts rise ‘unexpectedly’ for the second straight month

The numbers: Construction of new homes rose 1.9% in October, as builders amped up new projects.

The pace of construction increased as builders saw a pressing need for more housing units as the resale market continued to deal with a shortage.

Housing starts rose to a 1.37 million annual pace from 1.35 million in October, the government said Friday. That’s how many houses would be built over an entire year if construction took place at the same rate every month as it did in October.

The data exceeded expectations on Wall Street, where the expected rate was 1.35 million. The numbers are seasonally adjusted.

Both single-family construction and multi-family improved in October.

Despite newly built homes becoming more popular among buyers amid an ongoing inventory shortage of existing homes, builders are sensitive to rising rates and ramped up price cuts and other incentives in November.

Building permits, a sign of future construction, rose 1.1% to a 1.49 million rate. 

Market reaction: U.S. stocks

were mixed early Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
rose above 4.4%.

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