Census Bureau headquarters Census Bureau headquarters. (Photo: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP)

WASHINGTON, DC—October’s residential construction starts and permits beat analysts’ estimates, with multifamily putting in an especially strong showing. While building activity in the comparatively volatile apartment sector has often trailed that of single-family over the course of this year—and at times brought down the overall gains—October data from the Census Bureau show the sector leading the way.

Overall residential starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million units, up 13.7% from September and the fastest pace in a year. Economists polled by Reuters and Bloomberg News had projected annualized totals of 1.185 and 1.19 million units, respectively. Starts for single-family were up by 5.3%, while multifamily groundbreakings jumped 36.8% from the previous month to an annualized pace of 393,000 units.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.

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