Housing starts soared to their highest level since April 2010, increasing 9.3 percent from October to November and 24.3 percent from November 2010 according to the Commerce Department’s US Census Bureau. Permits for new housing units rose 5.7 percent in November, well-above private-sector expectations of a 1.7 percent decline.
Today's news was driven in large part by a significant upturn in multi-family housing starts - an increase of 25.3 percent from October to November 2011. The three-month average of multi-family starts is also up.
In response to today’s numbers, U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson issued the following statement: "While multi-family starts can be volatile from month-to-month, there are reasons to think that their recent rebound is not temporary. Rents have been rising and other indices point to continued improvement in the sector. Renewed strength in U.S. housing, coupled with the House voting to extend a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million Americans, would auger good things for the U.S. economy in the new year."
Source: The US Commerce Department, News Release – Dec 20, 2011