US housing starts jumped in November on lower interest rates stimulating home buying, according to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau.
Total privately owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 1.56 million in November, 14.8% higher than the revised October estimate of 1.359 million, Census said on Dec. 19. This was also 9.3% above the November 2022 rate of 1.427 million starts.
Single‐family housing starts saw an 18% month-over-month (MoM) increase in November to 1.143 million vs. the revised October figure of 969,000.
Regionally, the Midwest and West saw positive MoM growth, with starts rising by 12.4% and 12.1%, respectively. However, starts were down 34.4% in the Northeast and 6.7% in the South.
Meanwhile, the total number of privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in November stood at a SAAR of 1.46 million, 2.5% less than the revised October rate of 1.498 million but 4.1% higher than the November 2022 rate of 1.402 million.
“Lower interest rates and a lack of resale inventory helped to provide a strong boost for new home construction in November,” Alicia Huey, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), said in a statement.
“The single-family starts figure is remarkably strong, and we would not be surprised to see this figure revised lower or fall back slightly in the next month, given the nearly 20% rise in November,” NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz added.
He said that NAHB forecasts a 4% gain for single-family starts in 2024, “as mortgage rates settle lower, economic growth slows and inflation moves lower.”
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