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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Remain Near Highest Level Since 2008
by Tom Moeller  December 19, 2012

Builders began slightly fewer residential housing units last month, but earlier gains left recent levels near the four year high. Total housing starts fell 3.0% (+21.6% y/y) during November to 861,000 (AR) from 888,000 during October, revised down from 894,000. Expectations had been for 870,000 starts during last month. Since the recession trough in April 2009 starts have risen 80.1%. A 4.1% decline (+22.8% y/y) in single-family starts led last month's total decline. That was accompanied by a 1.0% drop (+19.4% y/y) in multi-family starts.   

By region, starts in the West paced last month's decline with a 19.2% falloff and were unchanged y/y. That was followed by a 5.2% decline (-25.5% y/y) in the Northeast. Elsewhere in the country there were m/m increases. Starts in the Midwest rose 3.3% (68.1% y/y) while in the South they increased 2.9% (33.1% y/y). 

Building permits in November gained 3.6% (+26.8% y/y) to 899,000. Permits for multi-family homes jumped 10.6% (29.5% y/y). Single-family permits slipped 0.2% m/m but were up by roughly one-quarter y/y.

The housing starts figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

What Are the Costs of Superstorm Sandy? from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York can be found   here.

 

Housing Starts (000s,SAAR) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Total 861 888 843 21.6 612 586 554
 Single-Family 565 589 590 22.8 434 471 442
 Multi-Family 296 299 253 19.4 178 114 112
Starts By Region
 Northeast 73 77 77 -25.5 68 72 61
 Midwest 158 153 147 68.1 103 97 95
 South 458 445 418 33.1 309 296 281
 West 172 213 201 0.0 131 120 117
Building Permits 899 868 890 26.8 624 604 582
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