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According to The Real Deal, the year is ending on high notes for the construction industry as home builder sentiment has hit a 20-year high. Housing starts are also up, climbing 3.2% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.37 million — up from 1.2 million in November 2008. The good numbers come via Bloomberg who also reports that building permits in November reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.48 million, a 1.4% increase on the revised October rate which is the highest rate since 2007.

Single‐family housing starts, the biggest sector of the market, were at a rate of 938,000 in November, 2.4 percent above the revised October figure of 916,000. It’s the highest level since January.

Housing starts ticked up in the West and Northeast, but dropped in the Midwest and South. The multifamily segment also rose 4.9 percent to 427,000 units last month, according to the survey.

The overall industry, which accounts for about 3 percent of the economy, is still limited due to supply-side constraints like labor and land availability, according to the survey. Plus, mortgage rates have increased in recent weeks, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rising to 3.73 from 3.49 percent in early September.

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