ARTICLE

Multifamily leads November housing starts rebound

Year-to-date housing starts are up 5.1%.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Total housing starts in November increased 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.256 million units from a downwardly revised October estimate of 1.217 million units, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department reported.

Year-to-date, new housing starts are 5.1% above their level compared to the same period last year.

Single-family starts fell 4.6% to 824,000 units in November, marking the third straight month of declines. But multifamily stars, including apartment buildings and condos, increased 22.4% to 432,000 units.

Regionally, combined starts increased 11% in the West and grew 5.3% in the South. Starts fell 0.8% in the Northeast and dropped 1.9% in the Midwest.

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“The decline in single-family production over the last few months makes sense given the drop in our builder confidence index,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “Builders are cautious to add inventory as housing affordability concerns are causing consumers to pause on making a home purchase.”

Total permits rose 5% in November to 1.39 million with single-family permits edging up 0.1% to a 848,000-unit pace while multifamily permits ascended 14.8% to an annualized rate of 480,000.

On a year-to-date basis, permit issuance is up 8.2% in the South and 3.2% in the West but down 2.7% in the Midwest and 2.8 in the Northeast.

“Favorable demographics support healthy housing demand, so it is frustrating that the housing affordability crisis is preventing many consumers from achieving their goal of buying a home,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While homeownership has increased over the last nine quarters, we can expect that upward momentum to stop due to rising home costs. Because housing leads the economy, we need to stabilize residential market conditions.”

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