Housing starts dropped 4.2% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.425 million units, and single-family home starts fell to the lowest level in more than two years, according to reuters.com. Economists expected starts to come in at a rate of 1.410 million units.
Applications for building permits, a good indication of future activity, fell 2.4% to 1.526 million units in October.
Single-family housing starts fell 6.1% to a rate of 855,000 units, and multifamily starts fell 0.5% to a rate of 556,000 units. Building permits for single-family homes declined 3.6% to a rate of 839,000 units, and permits for multifamily homes fell 1.9% to a rate of 839,000.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is averaging above 7%, which is the highest since 2002.