U.S. housing starts jumped 13.7 percent last month, reaching the highest level seen all year.

The increase hints that builders are back to work after hurricanes walloped the southeast and slowed residential construction, the Wall Street Journal reported. Housing starts hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 in October, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Building permits for residential projects increased 5.9 percent to an annual pace of 1.297 million last month.

”It was a little bit of a dead cat bounce after the hurricanes,” Terrell Gates, CEO of Virtus Real Estate Capital, told the Journal.

But don’t get too excited. Economists warned that the growth was largely driven by the 37 percent increase in multifamily starts, which can be volatile month-to-month. Single-family start increased 5.3 percent in October. [WSJ]Kathryn Brenzel

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