Single-family housing starts dipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 828,000 in November, according to new residential construction data released by the Commerce Department Friday morning. This month’s result marks a -4.1% decrease from October’s downwardly revised rate of 869,000 and represents a 5.3% gain compared to November 2015, when the estimate was 786,000.
The Midwest was the only region to experience a month-over-month increase in 1-unit housing starts, rising 19.8% from October levels to a rate of 145,000. All other regions decreased from October levels, most significantly the West, where single-family starts dropped -15.3% to a still-healthy rate of 183,000. On a year-over-year basis, the Midwest and South reported gains in the single-family category. Gains were most significant in the Midwest, where this month’s levels surpassed October 2015 levels by 33.0%
Total housing permits, the leading indicator for future starts, fell -4.7% in November, primarily due to a big dip in the multifamily sector, especially permits for 5-unit or more structures, which fell -15.8% month-over-month. Single-family permits rose 0.5%, indicating that next month’s report could be mediocre. Permits issued for 1-unit structures increased 7.0% in the Midwest, and 2.7% in the West, while the Northeast and South experienced single-digit losses month-over-month.
Total privately-owned housing completions increased 15.4% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,216,000. Completions of both single-family and multi-family housing increased in November following October’s strong report, by 3.3% and 44.5%, respectively.