Sharp Rise in Housing Starts


The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported this morning that new housing starts in December rose to an annual seasonally adjusted rate of 954,000, a sharp increase of 12% from the revised November rate of 851,000 and a gain of 36.9% above the December 2011 rate of 697,000,000. A consensus estimate from a survey of economists expected the rate to rise to 887,000.

The seasonally adjusted rate of new building permits rose to 903,000, which is 0.3% above the revised November rate of 900,000 and 28.8% higher than the December 2011 rate of 701,000.

Single-family housing starts jumped to an annualized rate of 616,000 in December, up 8.1% from the revised November rate of 570,000.

Permits for new single-family homes rose 1.8% in December, to an adjusted annual rate of 578,000, from a revised total of 568,000 in November.

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) yesterday reported a third consecutive six-year high in its builder confidence index, although the index was flat month-over-month and remains below the point where builder optimism balances with builder pessimism.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Housing, Research