U.S. home construction hits highest pace in 5 years

U.S. home construction hits highest pace in 5 years

U.S. builders broke ground on homes at the fastest pace in more than five years, strong evidence that the housing recovery is accelerating despite higher mortgage rates.

The Commerce Department said that developers began construction on houses and apartments in November at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million. That’s 23 percent more than October’s pace of 889,000 and the fastest since February 2008, just a few months after the recession began.
untitled11Construction of single-family homes jumped 21 percent to an annual pace of 727,000, also the highest in more than five years. Apartment construction soared 26 percent to a 354,000 annual pace.

Permits for future building slipped 3 percent to just over 1 million, down from 1.04 million in October. The drop reflected a decline in apartments, which can be volatile. Permits for single-family homes rose.

“Evidently, builders in the field are genuinely confident about the outlook for sales of new single-family houses, despite the rise in mortgage rates,” said Pierre Ellis, an economist at Decision Economics.

The housing market has been improving steadily since early last year, but construction had leveled off this past summer after first reaching a 1 million annual pace in March. Last month’s surge comes as mortgage rates remain about a percentage point higher than they were in the spring. That suggests home building will boost economic growth in the final three months of the year.

Home construction soared in the Midwest and South, while it fell in the Northeast and rose modestly in the West. The surge comes as homebuilders are more confident. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index  matched an eight-year high first reached in August.

Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB statistics.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press, Christopher S. Rugaber. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

KRISTEN PELL
Realtor®, Broker
The PELL Team Leader
239.292.9404 (c)
www.kristenpell.com
“Buy or Sell…Think Pell!” ™

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Posted on January 30, 2014, in Real Estate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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