US new home construction picks up in Nov

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WASHINGTON: New construction of US homes rebounded in November from an October slump and building permits surged as the housing market continues solid growth, official data released Wednesday showed.

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The Commerce Department reported housing starts rose to an annual rate of 1.17 million last month, up 10.5 percent from October when starts tumbled to the lowest level since May.

Private-sector home construction has stayed strong most of the year, with housing starts rising 11.0 percent in the first 11 months of 2015.

Construction of single-family homes, the bulk of the US housing market, accelerated to the fastest pace since June at 768,000 units, a gain of 7.6 percent from October.

Starts in the volatile multi-unit sector swung higher, jumping 18.1 percent on buildings with at least five units.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, shot up 11.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.29 million in November and were up 19.5 percent from a year ago.

“A upward trend in total housing construction appears to be re-emerging, following the slowdown in the summer, when the numbers were hit by the expiration of a tax break for multi-family development in New York state,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics.

“These are spectacular headlines, though note that almost all the increase in permits—more useful than starts, because permits are much less susceptible to swings in the weather—is in the hyper-volatile multi-family sector,” he said.

AFP

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