After a surprisingly good report in October, with all three measures of residential construction activity rising significantly, analysts were expecting a little give back in November. That happened with both building permits and construction completions, but housing starts outpaced even analysts’ most optimistic forecasts.
The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report that starts in November rose 3.3 percent from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,297,000. Analysts polled by Econoday has been looking for a range of 1,191,000 to 1,290,000, with a consensus of 1,240,000. The gain however, got an assist from a downgrade in the October number, from 1,290,000 to 1,256,000. The November increase put starts 12.9 percent above their pace a year earlier.