Permits for new housing starts in the U.S. rose in September, a positive signal the floundering housing market is showing growing strength in the economy.
Groundbreaking rose 6.3 percent to an annual 1.02 million-unit pace, while economists polled by Reuters had forecast a slightly smaller gain.
Housing is trying to make a comeback after it imploded during the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession, but has been lacking the ability to suffer any rise interest rate rises. It suffered a setback last year when interest rates spiked, but rates have been falling lately.
The average 30-year mortgage rate dropped last week to its lowest level since June 2013, and the level of housing starts is not far from a seven-year high.
New housing starts for single-family homes, the largest part of the market, rose 1.1 percent in September, while the more volatile multi-family homes segment jumped 16.7 percent.
Permits advanced 1.5 percent to a 1.02 million-unit pace last month.