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Housing Starts Rise

New home construction jumped 14.8% in November, exceeding economist expectations, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Meanwhile, building permits declined 2.5%.

What’s going on: Housing starts rose in November to 1,560,000 units at the annual rate from 1,359,000 units in October. That’s the data’s strongest pace in 17 months. 

  • Construction of both single- and multifamily housing increased in November.
  • However, building permits—a sign of future construction—fell to 1,460,000 in November from 1,498,000 in October.
  • Overall, housing permitting has increased 3.6% year to date, though multifamily housing permits fell 26.8% through the first 11 months of 2023.

In related news: Homebuilder confidence rose in December after declining for four consecutive months, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Why it’s important: “The data provide tremendous encouragement in the housing market, which has suffered greatly over the past couple of years,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “While affordability remains a concern and buyer traffic continues to be subdued, builder sentiment rose in the latest month largely on significant improvements in mortgage rates and a more upbeat outlook moving forward.”

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