New US housing construction slowed in October from September, weighed down by a drop in starts on multifamily properties, government data released Wednesday showed.
Housing starts fell 2.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.009 million units, down from 1.031 million units the previous month, the Commerce Department said.
The September rate was revised higher from the previous estimate of 1.018 million units.
Single-family home construction, a key indicator of the strength of the residential construction industry, rose 4.2 percent in October. Multifamily housing starts declined 15.5 percent.
Year-over-year, housing starts rose 7.8 percent, with single-family homes up 15.4 percent and multifamily units down 6.8 percent.
Building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose 4.8 percent to 1.08 million units but were only up 1.2 percent from October 2013.
"Despite the disappointing headline on US housing starts, the guts of the report were decent," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, in a research note.
"Looking ahead, the improving trend should continue, supported by generally low rates, supposedly easier mortgage lending rules... and strong job growth."