Single-Family Home Construction Hits 10-Year Highs
US homebuilding rose in November, with the construction of single-family housing units running to 10-year highs
Housing starts increased 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.297-M units, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.
That was the highest mark since October 2016. But October’s sales pace was revised down to 1.256 -M units from the previously reported 1.290-M units.
Economists polled had forecast housing starts decreasing to a pace of 1.250-M units last month.
Homebuilding has weakened this year, reflecting supply bottlenecks. Demand for housing, however, remains robust amid a labor market that is near full employment.
Builders have struggled with land and labor shortages as well as more expensive lumber.
Activity also took a hit from recent hurricanes that devastated parts of the heavily-populated South. A survey on Monday showed confidence among homebuilders soaring to near an 18.5 year high in December, amid optimism over buyer traffic and sales over the next 6 months.
Last month, single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, jumped 5.3% to a rate of 930,000 units. That was the highest level since September 2007.
Single-family home construction in the South spiked 8.4% last month to the highest mark since July 2007 as the hurricane-related disruptions continued to fade and communities in the region replaced houses damaged by flooding.
Single-family starts in the West surged 11.4% to their highest level since July 2007. They were unchanged in the Northeast and fell 11.1% in the Midwest.
Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment fell 1.6% to a rate of 367,000 units.
Building permits dropped 1.4% to a rate of 1.298-M units in November. Single-family home permits rose 1.4-M, while permits for the construction of multi-family homes declined 6.4-M.
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