U.S. Housing Permits Climb 8.9% to Highest Level in a Year

17 12 2009

Builders in November broke ground on more U.S. homes, a sign the recovery in homebuilding may carry through into 2010.

The report on housing starts showed building permits increased to a 584,000 pace, the highest level since November 2008, from 551,000 the prior month, said the Commerce Department today in Washington. Permits were forecast to rise to 570,000.

Construction of single-family houses, which accounted for 84 percent of the industry last month, increased 2.1 percent to a 482,000 rate.

Work on multifamily homes, such as townhouses and apartment buildings, jumped 67 percent to an annual rate of 92,000.

All four regions showed a gain in starts in November, led by a 16 percent increase in the Northeast. Work began on 12 percent more homes in the South, 3 percent in the Midwest and 1.9 percent in the West.

Government tax credits, lower home prices and borrowing costs near record lows may boost sales and construction in coming months. Federal Reserve policy makers today are forecast to reiterate a pledge to keep rates low for “an extended period” to sustain the recovery and lower a jobless rate that economists project will average 10 percent in 2010.

Source: Bloomberg



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