US

US housing starts plummet 11 pct. in October; steep drop in apartment ground breakings

Apartment construction plunged sharply in October, as the pace of homebuilding slipped amid a broader cooling of the real estate market.

The Commerce Department says housing starts — both houses and apartments — fell last month 11 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.06 million homes.

Single-family house construction declined, but last month's drop mostly stemmed from a 25.5 percent slide in the volatile multi-family category that includes apartments.

Home construction has climbed a solid 10 percent year-to-date. But the market's upward trajectory appears to have stalled as rising prices, tight inventories and economic uncertainty have sidelined many would-be buyers.

Still, building permits increased 4.1 percent in October to an annual rate of 1.15 million. That's a sign that apartment construction could soon rebound.