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US Oct. housing starts fall 11% to 1.60 million

Construction of new homes plunged about 11% in October to an annual pace of 1.60 million from a 16-year high of 1.81 million in September, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday. The percentage drop was the largest in nearly nine years. Economists were looking for a much smaller decline to around 1.71 million in October. The falloff in October was especially severe in starts of new large apartment buildings, which fell 31%. Starts of new single-family homes fell a more modest 7%. New building permits rose about 2% to an annual rate of 1.76 million from 1.73 million in September.
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