September housing starts, the government’s measure of new residential construction activity, showed an overall decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,127,000 units. This rate is down 4.7% from the revised August rate of 1,183,000 units. This is the third monthly decline in a row indicating a softening in the construction of new homes – and the lowest level of construction since September 2016.
Newly released data from the Commerce Department shows that housing starts took what many are characterizing as a startling jump in November – rising 23% overall above the October rate and almost 30% above the November 2012 rate. Analysts are struggling to explain the gains other than to say these numbers show a durable housing recovery – welcome news considering the fact that the housing construction industry is a key driver of the overall economy.