WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started construction last month on the most single-family homes and apartments since July 2008, more evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum.
The Commerce Department says housing starts jumped 3.6 percent in October from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000. Single-family home construction dipped 0.2 percent.
Apartment construction, which is more volatile, rose 10 percent.
Applications for building permits, a sign of future construction, fell 2.7 percent to 866,000, after jumping 12 percent in September to a four-year high. Still, permit applications to build single-family homes rose to their highest level since July 2008.
Housing starts are 87 percent above the annual rate of 478,000 in April 2009, the recession low. That's still short of the 1.5 million annual rate considered healthy.