WASHINGTON — Housing starts dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 519,000 in October, an 18-month low, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Building permits increased to a 14 month-high of 550,000.

Economists expected annualized rates of 600,000 housing starts and 570,000 building permits in October, according to Thomson Reuters. September starts were revised lower to 588,000 from the 610,000 originally reported last month. September building permits were revised upward to 547,000 from 539,000.

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