WASHINGTON (12/17/15)--Housing construction accelerated in November, with housing starts climbing 10.5% during the month and 16.5% on a year-over-year basis, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Census Bureau (Economy.com Dec. 16).
Housing starts rose to 1.17 million in November, up from October’s revised total of 1.06 million. Both single-family homes and apartment construction contributed to the gains, rising 7.6% and 16.4% respectively.
“The November construction numbers were good all around, but should also be kept in perspective,” said Andres Carbacho-Burgos, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “The monthly increase in construction has not increased the trend of construction, but has prevented construction from going into reverse.”
Carbacho-Burgos added that the pace of single-family construction remains “agonizingly slow” and still only has reached just more than half of the average pace of the pre-construction bubble seen between 1998 and 2002.
By region, housing starts in the Northeast dropped by 8.5% and were flat in the Midwest. That left the South and the West to drive the majority of the gains, with the South recording a 21.3% surge in starts and the West posting a 6.3% increase.
Meanwhile, both single- and multifamily construction recorded positive months for permits, perhaps foreshadowing more growth to come.
Permits for privately owned housing units jumped 11% in November and climbed 19.5% on a year-over-year basis. Single-family home permits rose 1.1% and have risen 9% annually.
“For now, the increase in housing permits and the steady if unbalanced increase in the construction pipeline indicate that residential construction is not about to go into reverse, despite fragile global financial markets,” Carbacho-Burgos said.