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A crane lowers a truss onto a home under construction Monday in the Gold Hill Mesa development on Colorado Springs' west side. The pace of local homebuilding slowed slightly in October, according to a Pikes Peak Regional Building Department report. RICH LADEN, THE GAZETTE

The pace of home construction cooled last month in El Paso County, according to a report Monday by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

The department, which oversees residential and commercial construction, issued 235 single-family homebuilding permits in October in Colorado Springs and El Paso County.

That's down by nearly 8 percent compared with the number of permits issued in October 2104; the decline breaks a string of eight straight monthly increases in permit totals on a year-over-year basis.

Despite last month's decline, single- family permits for the first 10 months of 2015 totaled 2,369 - an 11.1 percent increase compared with the same period last year.

Economists and government officials closely watch building permit activity because of the housing industry's impact on the local economy. The industry employs thousands, while taxes collected on the purchase of building materials help fill the coffers of area governments, which use the money for roads, public safety and other services.

Homebuilders have credited historically low mortgage rates as a major reason for this year's increase in local home construction.

Last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.76 percent nationally. Except for a few weeks during the summer, 30-year rates have been below 4 percent for most of 2015.

Some homebuilders also have said that an extremely tight inventory on the resale side of the single-family housing market has contributed to the demand for new homes.

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