Adobe Stock/Jandrie Lombard

Single-family housing starts in November increased 18% above revised October figures to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,143,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Urban Development. The rate of starts was at its highest level since April 2022 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“In theory, housing starts and sales should follow the same path, and that’s what we saw in today’s report,” says Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf. “Single-family housing starts were above 2019 levels, which matches the trend seen in Zonda’s new-home figure. As we head into 2024, we know there’s enthusiasm from the building community to keep building homes to backfill closed communities. We anticipate starts will increase modestly next year versus this year, assuming demand holds up.”

Privately owned housing starts increased 14.8% from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,560,000. The estimate represents a 9.3% improvement above the November 2022 rate. The November rate of starts for units in buildings with five units or more was 404,000.

“Construction of houses has been strong since spring, and the boost in supply will make a dent in the country’s housing shortage in the coming months,” says NerdWallet home expert Holden Lewis. “The increased supply of new houses might keep a lid on prices in 2024 of both new and existing homes for sale.”

Single-family housing units authorized by building permits in November were at a rate of 979,000, 0.7% above the revised October figure. Privately owned housing units authorized by permit in November decreased 2.5% month over month but increased 4.1% year over year to a rate of 1,460,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 435,000 in November.

Privately owned housing completions in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,447,000, a 5% increase compared with October, but a 6.2% decline relative to the November 2022 rate. Single-family completions in November ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 960,000, 3.2% below the revised October figure. Completions of buildings with five units of more was 472,000 in November.