Housing starts, permits soar in November
December 20, 2011
Americans are building houses and apartment buildings at the fastest rate since October 2008, exceeding even the spike during the last month of a home-buying tax credit in April 2010, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 — 9.3% higher than October and 24.3% higher than November 2010. Meanwhile, permits authorized for privately-owned housing units were at an annual rate of 681,000 — 5.7% above October and 20.7% higher than November last year.
The growth in housing starts came largely from structures with five or more housing units. The rate of construction for those buildings was up 32.2% over October and 180.5% over November 2010. Single-family starts were up only 2.3% over October and down 1.5% from November last year. Housing starts surged in the Northeast and West but fell sharply in the Midwest. Starts in the South, which represented nearly half of all housing starts in the United States, were up 4.1% from October and 24.3% from November 2010.
In addition to indicating demand for building materials and home furnishings, changes in housing construction rates often suggest the direction of truck driver availability as the two industries typically draw from the same labor pool.
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