Single-family housing starts rose 4% in October from the previous month, but multifamily activity fell 13%, according to new government figures released Thursday morning.

The Census Bureau reported that single-family housing starts rose to a 430,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in October from a 414,000 rate in September.

September starts were revised downward by 11,000 units. Overall, single-family starts are down just 1% from a year ago.

Thursday's report also shows multifamily builders took a breather in October as starts fell 13% to an annualized rate of 183,000 units. (September marked a post-recession high in apartment construction.)

The government originally reported a 50% spike in multifamily construction from August to September, but the revision shows the rise was more modest at 38%. September starts were revised downward by 16,000 units.

Nevertheless, apartment construction activity has almost doubled since October 2010 when builders broke ground on just 93,000 multifamily units.

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