BUILDERS RAMP UP: U.S. builders started construction last month on the most homes and apartments since July 2008. Work began on new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000, up 3.6 percent from September.
BIG RECOVERY: The housing market has been making consistent gains this year, propping up an economy that's being squeezed by a global slowdown and looming spending cuts and tax increases.
MORE DEMAND: More people are looking for homes, after moving in with parents or friends because of the weak economy. Yet fewer homes are available. Mortgage rates have hit all-time lows. And rents are rising, making the purchase of a home more attractive.