U.S. housing starts increased 5.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.123 million units in November, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The pace was 17.5 percent above 2004.
Single-family housing starts rose 4.8 percent to 1.808 million units for the month, matching the record set in February 2004. Single-family starts were up by 7.5 percent on a year-to-date basis, on pace to surpass last year's record-setting activity.
"The housing market still is fundamentally healthy," said Dave Wilson, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "Many builders sense some tapering off of buyer demand because of resistance to high prices and rising interest rates, as reflected in our recent housing market index survey of builders, and many companies have begun offering certain incentives in order to maintain their sales and production."
According to David Seiders, chief economist at NAHB, "Measures of housing affordability have deteriorated in recent months, but economic fundamentals are still quite solid. 2005 will be a record year for single-family housing and the second best year for total housing starts, exceeded only in 1972 when multifamily production surged."
Multifamily housing starts increased by 7.9 percent for the month to a seasonally adjusted pace of 315,000 units. This was 2.5 percent below the pace of 2004.
Issuance of total building permits increased 2.5 percent to a seasonably adjusted rate of 2.155 million units for the month. Single-family permit issuance was up 0.2 percent to a pace of 1.710 million units for the month. The pace of multifamily permit issuance increased 12.4 percent to a pace of 445,000 units for the month.
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