Los Angeles builders continued their push into the multifamily market in October, driving up the number of new projects compared with the same period last year, an industry group said Tuesday.

Permits for 565 housing units were pulled in Los Angeles County last month, up 151 from October 2010, but down 32 percent from September, the Los Angeles and Ventura chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California said. Builders pulled only 154 single-family permits, 27 percent of total housing permits pulled in the county.

The industry group, which uses data from the Construction Industry Research Board, said construction started on 40 new single-family homes in the city of Los Angeles, 19 in Lancaster and 12 in unincorporated areas abutting Santa Clarita.

With single-family home construction constrained by a struggling economic recovery and tight lending restrictions, the multifamily housing market has been a glimmer of hope in a beleaguered construction industry.

“While the state’s economy appears to be making small steps toward recovery, it’s unlikely that real recovery will get under way until homebuilders are able to ramp up construction to more normal levels,” said Holly Schroeder, the chapter’s chief executive said in a statement, urging local governments to collaborate with homebuilders to help projects come to fruition.

Single-family permits are down 3 percent during the first 10 months of 2011 in Los Angeles County, while multifamily permits have risen 60 percent.