Housing starts surged to a 1.29 million-unit pace in October after faltering in September. A jump in single-family construction in the South accounted for most of those gains. Homeowners who lost homes also scrambled to begin rebuilding. Speculative investors are helping spur activity; they snapped up much of the unsold inventories in the new home market in the South after the storms hit. The West was the only region to record an overall decline, likely due to the disruptions caused by the wildfires that ravaged parts of California.