Posted December 19, 2017

Single-family starts rise in line with builder confidence

Single-family production rose 5.3% in November to 930,000, the highest level since the recession.

Nationwide housing starts rose 3.3% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate — and post-recession high — of 1.297 million units after a downwardly revised October reading, according to newly released data from HUD and the Commerce Department.

Single-family production rose 5.3% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 930,000, which also is the highest post-recession report. Year to date, single-family starts are 8.7% above their level over the same period last year.

Meanwhile, multifamily starts fell 1.6% to 367,000 units after a strong October reading.

“The increase in single-family production is consistent with builder confidence gains, and shows builders are optimistic about new federal policies aimed to promote small business growth,” said NAHB chairman Granger MacDonald.

“The strong November reading indicates that builders are continuing to increase single-family production to meet growing demand for housing,” said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. “With low unemployment and increasing owner-occupied household formation, single-family starts should continue to make gains in 2018.”

Regionally in November, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 19% in the West and 11.1% in the South. Starts fell 12.9% in the Midwest and 39.6% in the Northeast.

Overall permit issuance in November was down 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.298 million units. Single-family permits rose 1.4% to 862,000 units while multifamily permits fell 6.4 percent to 436,000.

Permits rose 1.4% in the South. Permits declined 3% in the West, 4.7% in the Midwest and 5.7% in the Northeast.