Housing starts inched lowered in October, according to Commerce Department data, after climbing by double-digits the prior two months. But new residential construction remains at the highest level since March 2010. On a seasonally adjusted basis, starts fell 0.3% to an annual rate of 628,000, from a significantly revised 630,000 for September. Starts for October were 16.5% higher than 539,000 a year earlier. Analysts polled by Econoday expected housing starts to come in at a rate of 605,000 with a range of estimates between 580,000 and 640,000. In a joint release, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said single-family starts climbed 3.9% in October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 430,000 units, up from a revised 414,000 for September. October's dip comes on the heels of a 15% increase in September and a 10.5% gain in August. Earlier this year, new home construction decreased by 22.5% in February, which was the largest monthly decline since March 1984. Building permits in October rose 10.9% to an annual rate of 653,000 from a revised 589,000 for the prior month, and were almost 18% higher than 555,000 a year ago. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw.