According to U.S. Commerce Department figures, the housing market showed early signs of cooling off in October as the pace of new-home construction and the issuance of building permits both declined.

Total housing starts were down 5.6 percent for the month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.014 million units. The October pace was 2.3 percent below a year earlier, but starts were up by 5.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.

Single-family home construction dipped 3.7 percent to 1.704 million units for the month. This was 2.3 percent above the pace of a year ago, with single-family starts up on a year-to-date basis by 6.3 percent.

Multifamily housing starts dropped 14.8 percent for the month to a seasonally adjusted pace of 310,000 units. This was 2.17 percent below the pace of a year ago.

Regionally, construction of new homes and apartments for the month was down 7.5 percent in the Northeast, 10.5 percent in the Midwest, 10.8 percent in the West and 0.5 percent in the South.

Source: National Association of Home Builders

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