According to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department, total housing starts increased 3.2 percent in November 2019 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.37 million units.
The November reading of 1.37 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts increased 2.4 percent to a 938,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate off downwardly revised estimates for recent months. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 4.9 percent to a 427,000 pace.
"Market conditions for single-family starts are positive, given a lack of resale inventory, low interest rates and a solid job market," said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "Builder confidence points to additional gains as we look forward."
"Since the rebound in housing took hold earlier this year, single-family starts have posted a steady improvement in the pace of construction," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "Under the current estimates, the 2019 year-to-date total for single-family construction is just 0.4 percent lower than the 2018 sum and is on pace to come in relatively flat for the year."
On a regional and year-to-date basis, combined single-family and multifamily starts in November are 0.9 percent higher in the Northeast and 7.4 percent higher in the South. Starts are down 5.8 percent in the Midwest and 8.7 percent in the West.
Overall permits, which are a harbinger of future housing production, increased 1.4 percent to a 1.48 million unit annualized rate in November. Single-family permits inched up 0.8 percent to a 918,000 rate while multifamily permits increased 2.5 percent to a 564,000 pace.
Looking at regional permit data on a year-to-date basis, permits are 11.6 percent higher in the Northeast and 4.8 percent higher in the South. Permits are down 3.3 percent in the Midwest and 0.6 percent in the West.
The National Association of Home Builders' latest 55+ Housing Market Index is reporting this week that U.S. builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market dropped four points to 68 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
According to new research by Zillow, the total value of every home in the U.S. is $33.6 trillion, nearly as much as the GDP of the two largest global economies combined -- the U.S. ($20.5 trillion) and China ($13.6 trillion).
According to CoreLogic's latest Single-Family Rent Index (SFRI), which analyzes single-family rent price changes nationally and among 20 metropolitan areas, data collected for October 2019 shows a national rent increase of 3.1% year over year, compared to 2.9% in October 2018.
The oldest Millennials, who will turn 40 in 2020, have lived through a turbulent decade of housing marked first by the initial recovery from the Great Recession, then the extraordinary home value growth of recent years.
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