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Economy in Brief

U.S. Housing Starts & Building Permits Ease
by Tom Moeller  December 16, 2014

Housing starts during November declined 1.6% to 1.028 million (AR, +7.5% y/y) from 1.045 million in October, revised from 1.009 million. The latest figure roughly matched expectations for 1.025 million starts in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Starts in the single-family sector declined 5.4% to 677,000 units (-6.3% y/y) following October's 8.0% rise to 716,000. Starts in the multi-family sector increased 6.7% (-9.4% y/y) to 351,000 following a 9.9% decline to 329,000.

Regionally, starts rose 28.1% in the West (29.9% y/y) to 278,000 and in the Midwest rose 14.4% to 183,000 (-15.3% y/y). In the Northeast starts increased 8.7% (21.6% y/y) to 113,000 but starts were down 19.5% to 454,000 in the South (-23.9% y/y).

Permits to build new homes declined 5.2% to 1.035 million (-5.0% y/y) and reversed October's increase. Multi-family permits fell 11.0% to 396,000 (-3.7% y/y) while single-family permits eased 1.2% to 639,000 (-5.9% 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 % 2013 2012 2011
Total 1,028 1,045 1,028 7.5 930 784 612
 Single-Family 677 716 663 -6.3 621 537 434
 Multi-Family 351 329 365 -9.4 309 247 178
Starts By Region
 Northeast 113 104 109 21.6 96 80 68
 Midwest 183 160 173 -15.3 149 128 103
 South 454 564 503 -23.9 467 400 309
 West 278 217 243 29.9 217 175 132
Building Permits 1,035 1,092 1,031 -5.0 990 829 624
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