Steel Products

Housing Starts Up 12.1% in December

Written by Sandy Williams

Written by: Sandy Williams

Housing starts rose at the fastest pace since 2008, showing continued recovery in the housing market.

The Commerce Department said housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000, up 12.1 percent from the revised November estimate and up 36.9 percent from the December rate in 2011. Starts of single family units jumped 8.1 percent in December, while apartments with five or more units leapt 23.1 percent. An estimated 780,000 units in total were started in 2012, up 28.1 percent from the 2011 figure of 608,800.

Housing completion continued to improve to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 686,000, 1.6 percent above the revised November estimate of 675,000 and 13.2 percent above the December 2011 rate of 606,000. The Commerce Department reports an estimated 651,400 housing units were completed in 2012 compared to 584,900 in 2011, an increase of 11.4 percent.

Building permits, a sign of future construction, were relatively flat for the month but still at a four and one half year high. Permits rose only 0.3 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 903,000 but were up 28.8 percent from December 2011. Single-family authorizations rose 1.8 percent to a rate of 578,000 from November’s revised figure of 568,000. Authorizations for buildings with five or more units dropped 1 percent to a rate of 301,000 in December. An estimated 813,400 housing units were authorized by building permits in 2012, 30.3 percent above the 2011 figure of 624,100.


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