April 2014

Housing starts fall in November

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Housing starts fell 3 percent from October to November, according to USA Today. Construction decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 861,000 compared with 888,000 in October.

Additionally, single-family construction starts fell 4.1 percent. However, building permit applications, which are viewed as a barometer of future construction, rose 3.6 percent in November to 899,000, which is the most since July 2008.

Hurricane Sandy likely caused the drop in housing starts in November. Still, there are signs the housing market is recovering. Buyers' confidence and optimism are improving, and builder confidence rose for the seventh straight month in December.

Housing starts are far above the annual rate of 478,000 in April 2009, which was the recession low. And housing starts were 21.6 percent higher last month than in November 2011. However, a 1.5 million annual rate still is needed to be considered healthy.


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