The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
Production of new single-family homes and apartments rose 9.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units in November, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department on Dec. 20. This was the fastest pace of housing starts since October of 2008.
"While we still have a long way to get back to normal, the latest numbers are one more indication that housing is slowly turning the corner," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
"In scattered markets across the country, buyers who have long sat on the sidelines are starting to take advantage of today's very attractive prices and interest rates, while others are making the move to a new apartment,” Nielsen said.
“This nascent trend would be stronger if not for the very restrictive lending environment that continues for both building and buying new homes," he said.
"Along with recent gains that have been registered in builder confidence and other economic measures, the improvement in new-home production and permitting shown in this latest report provides further evidence of the gradual strengthening that we expected to see in housing markets toward the end of the year," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
"We anticipate continued, slow improvement in housing starts and sales through 2012," Crowe said.
November’s gain in starts activity resulted from improvements in both the single-family and multifamily sectors.
Single-family starts rose 2.3% to a 447,000-unit pace, their best showing since last June.
Meanwhile, more volatile multifamily production numbers surged 25.3% to a yearly rate of 238,000-units — the fastest since September 2008.
November’s housing starts were up 53.8% in the Northeast, 22.6% in the South and 4.1% in the South.
Starts declined 18.2% in the Midwest.
Permit issuance, which can be an indicator of future building activity, climbed 5.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 681,000 units in November — the best pace since March of 2010.
Single-family permits rose 1.6% to 435,000 units and multifamily permits rose 13.9% to 246,000 units, which was their strongest pace since October of 2008.
Permits were up 32.8% in the Northeast and 21.4% in the West, but down 1.9% in the Midwest and 2.6% in the South.
For in-depth analysis of the latest housing statistics and research from the federal government, NAHB and other sources, Eye on the Economy readers are encouraged to visit Eye on Housing at http://eyeonhousing.wordpress.com/.
They can also subscribe to the blog’s free RSS feed, which will automatically alert them to every new posting.
Data You Can Build On
Get historical data, industry analysis and the latest forecasts, including state and metro, from HousingEconomics.com. Support your business decisions with in-depth analyses, detailed Excel tables, overviews and more. For more information, visit HousingEconomics.com.