Steel Markets

Housing Starts Show Steady Improvement

Written by Sandy Williams

Housing starts increased 3.2 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,365,000. Starts were 1.36 percent above the November 2018 rate. Commencement of construction for single-family homes increased 2.4 percent from October, while starts for buildings of five units or more increased 2.3 percent.

New construction was strongest in the South with single-family starts up 10.3 percent, followed by an increase of 1.4 percent in the West. Starts were down 3.7 percent in the Northeast and 15.5 percent in the Midwest.

“Since the rebound in housing took hold earlier this year, single-family starts have posted a steady improvement in the pace of construction,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Under the current estimates, the 2019 year-to-date total for single-family construction is just 0.4 percent lower than the 2018 sum and is on pace to come in relatively flat for the year.”

Permit authorizations in November increased 1.4 percent from October to a SAAR of 1,482,000. Single-family authorizations edged up 0.8 percent, while multi-family units gained 4.4 percent. Permits in the Northeast and Midwest leapt 18.1 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively. Authorizations grew 1.3 percent in the West and declined 4.7 percent in the South from the previous month.

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