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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts Surge to Highest Level Since 2008
by Tom Moeller  December 18, 2013

Housing starts during November surged 22.7% to 1.091 million (29.6% y/y) on top of a 1.8% October gain to 889,000. The latest level beat expectations for 965,000 starts in the Action Economics survey. Starts of single-family homes jumped 20.8% to 727,000 (26.2% y/y) while starts of multi-family homes advanced 26.8% to 364,000 (36.8% y/y).

By region, starts in the Midwest surged 41.7% to 214,000 (39.0% y/y) followed by a 38.5% jump in the South to 558,000 (24.3% y/y). In the West, starts rose a moderate 8.8% to 235,000 (37.4% y/y) but starts in the Northeast fell 9.4% to 84,000 (+23.5% y/y).

Building permits declined 3.1% last month to 1.007 million (+7.9% y/y) and reversed half of the prior month's improvement. Permits to build single-family homes gained 2.1% to 634,000 (10.5% y/y). Permits to build multi-family units declined 10.8% to 373,000 (+3.9% y/y).

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

Housing Starts (000s, SAAR) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Total 1,091 889 873 29.6 783 612 586
 Single-Family 727 602 580 26.2 537 434 471
 Multi-Family 364 287 293 36.8 247 178 114
Starts By Region
 Northeast 84 119 98 23.5 78 68 72
 Midwest 214 151 164 39.0 129 103 97
 South 558 403 427 24.3 400 309 296
 West 235 216 184 37.4 173 132 120
Building Permits 1,007 1,039 974 7.9 829 624 604
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