Housing starts: The 2013 review

The charts don't lie. Residential construction is gaining momentum, for the most part.

Residential construction statistics released Friday morning showed housing starts in December dipped back below the million mark. But that slight backstep didn't prevent the year from producing a double-digit increase.

The following graphics tell the story of a housing industry still struggling to regain a semblance of normality (which would be approximately 1.5 million starts per year), while showing signs of momentum.


The chart above shows the end-of-year annual housing starts figures since 2000. These are the actual numbers of single- and multi-family housing units started -- not the seasonally adjusted annual rate. In 2013, starts totaled 923,400, an 18.3% improvement over 2012. Still, the industry is dwarfed by the 2005 total of 2.1 million. 



The chart above shows the recent three months of housing starts compared with year-ago periods and expressed as a seasonally adjusted annual rate. December's tally was ahead of last year, but down from a 1.11 million rate tallied in November. 


The chart above shows the year 2013 in review -- single-family starts and total starts peaked in November. While December showed a decline in single-family starts, it also marked the second-strongest performance in this metric for the year. 


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