U.S. homebuilders planned to build apartments in October at the fastest pace in five years, a sign they expect a jump in rentals in coming months.
The Commerce Department says plans to build houses and apartments were approved at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.034 million.
That's 6.2 per cent higher than the September rate of 974,000 and the fastest since June 2008, just before the peak of the financial crisis.
Nearly all of the increase was for multi-family homes, a part of residential construction that can be volatile. Those permits rose 15.3 percent to a rate of 414,000.
Permits for single-family houses rose 0.8 per cent to a rate of 620,000. The government report did not include information on homes started. That was delayed again by last month's government shutdown.