December Housing Starts up Strongly; Permits Hold Steady

by devteam January 17th, 2013 | Share

Permits for construction of privately owned housing units increasedrnslightly in December while housing starts had a stronger showing according torndata released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and UrbanrnDevelopment Thursday. Permits werernissued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 903,000, a 0.3 percent increasernfrom the revised November rate of 900,000 and 28.8 percent higher than thernDecember 2011 estimate of 701,000.  The Novemberrnpermitting pace was originally estimated at 899,000.</p

Permits for single family construction were issued at a rate of 578,000,rn1.8 percent higher than the November estimate of 568,000 (revised fromrn565,000).  Construction in buildings ofrnfive or more units was at the rate of 301,000 units, down from 304,000 inrnNovember.</p

There were an estimated 813,400 building permits issued in 2012.  This is a 30.3 percent increase over thernestimated 624,000 permits issued in 2011.</p

Building Permits


Housing starts in December were 12.1rnpercent higher than in November.  Startsrnin the last month of the year were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 954,000rncompared to a revised 851,000 (from 861,000) in November.  The  rnDecember starts were 36.9 percent higher than the 697,000 starts onernyear earlier.</p

Single family housing starts were at arnrate of 616,000, up 8.1 percent from 570,000 in November and the December raternfor units in buildings with five units or more was 330,000 compared to 268,000rnin November</p

An estimated 780,000 housing units werernbegun in 2012, 28.1 percent more than the 2011 figure of 608,800.</p

Housing Starts</p


There were 686,000rnhousing completions on a seasonally adjusted annual basis in December, 1.6rnpercent over the 675,000 reported for November and 13.2 percent higher than thernDecember 2011 rate of 606,000.  ThernNovember figure was revised downward slightly from 677,000.</p

Single familyrncompletions were at the rate of 535,000, a 3.7 percent increase from 516,000 inrnNovember.  The completion rate for unitsrnin buildings with five or more was 144,000.</p

In the Northeast the permitting raternincreased 19.0 percent from November and 23.7 percent form one yearrnearlier.  Housing starts were up 21.4rnpercent month-over-month and 37.1 percent year-over-year, but completions werernway dawn, -21.9 percent from the previous month and –27.8 percent from thernsame period in 2011. </p

The Midwest saw a 5.7 percent drop inrnpermitting from November but the rate was 33.0 percent higher than a yearrnearlier.  Housing starts were up 24.7rnfrom November and 10.7 percent from December 2011, and completions were up 16.7rnpercent and 6.7 percent respectively.</p

The South had a 3.5 percent decrease inrnpermitting from November but the rate was up 25.7 compared to Decemberrn2011.  Housing starts were up 3.8 percentrnfor the month and 43.0 percent compared to a year earlier; completions rose 4.3rnpercent and 21.1 percent for the respective periods.</p

In the West permits were up 6.6 percentrnand 35.5 percent.  Housing startsrnincreased 18.7 percent from November and 57.4 percent from December 2011 andrnhousing completions were down 2.5 percent month-over-month and up 25.6 percentrnyear-over-year.</p

At the end of December there were 93,300rnoutstanding permits for which construction had not been started and 547,000rnunits under construction.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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