Residential Construction Up

New data from the Census Bureau shows that U.S. residential home starts saw a significant increase in November. The new numbers indicate a 22.7% increase over the previous month, although it may be that the government shutdown may have had something to do with the jump. Even so, those previous months’ numbers were in line to perform similarly to the previous year before the shutdown, which suggests the improvement can’t be entirely credited to the government closure. The increase in starts also contributed to higher confidence among homebuilders as evidenced by the new, higher Sentiment Index recorded by The National Home Builders Association and Wells Fargo. For more on this continue reading the following article from TheStreet.

New residential construction soared in November to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.091 million, the highest level since June 2008 and well ahead of market expectations.

Housing starts were up 22.7% in November from the revised October estimate of 889,000, and were up nearly 30% from last year, according to the latest report from the Census Bureau. In September, housing starts came in at 873,000.

The Census Bureau had delayed the data for September and October because of the government shutdown.

While September and October data were in line with the trend in summer, the jump to more than 1 million in November is welcome news, a sign that housing construction might be climbing back toward normal.

Building permits authorizing private residential construction in November were at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.007 million, down 3.1% from the revised estimate of 1.039 million in October. Permits in October were the highest since June 2008.

Economists polled by Bloomberg expected total housing starts to increase to an annualized rate of 952,000, while building permits for November were expected to come in at 995,000.

The housing starts data seem to reflect rising homebuilder confidence about market conditions. The National Association of Homebuilders/ Wells Fargo Sentiment Index rose 4 points to 58,as builders viewed current and future sales conditions positively.

This article was republished with permission from TheStreet.

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