Housing construction increased in November even though applications for permits to build new homes dropped for a 10th straight month.

The Commerce Department reported that construction of new homes and apartments rose last month by 6.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.588 million units. Analysts had been expecting a rebound following a 13.7 percent plunge in construction activity in October.

Applications for permits to build new homes dropped by 3 percent to an annual rate of 1.506 million units.

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