U.S. housing starts surged to a more than nine-year high in October as builders ramped up construction of both single and multifamily homes, offering hope that housing will contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter. Groundbreaking jumped 25.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.32 million units, the highest level since August 2007, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

The percent increase was the biggest since July 1982. Starts increased in all four regions last month. September’s starts were unrevised at a 1.05 million-unit rate. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a 1.16 million-unit pace in October. Residential construction has been a drag on gross domestic product for two straight quarters. READ MORE