Building permits issued in November were up 5.7 percent from the number issued in October according to joint data released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The seasonally adjusted annual rate was 681,000 permits compared to 644,000 in October although the October figure was adjusted downward from an earlier estimate of 653,000.  The annual rate is now 20.7 percent higher than one year ago.

Authorizations for single family homes were issued at a rate of 435,000, an increase of 1.6 percent above the downwardly revised (from 434,000) rate of 428,000 in October.  Permits for units in buildings of 5 or more units were issued at a rate of 224,000 compared to 193,000 in October.  Single family permits are being issued at a pace that is 3.6 percent higher than in November 2010.

Permits were up dramatically in the Northeast region.  The annual rate of 81,000 in November was a 32.8 percent increase over the pace in October.  The South also saw a substantial increase from a rate of 131,000 in October to 159,000 in November, a 21.4 percent increase.  The other two regions, the Midwest and the South were down 1.9 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.

The pace of permitting is running well above one year ago in all four regions.  In the West permits are up 29.3 percent, the Northeast 26.6 percent, the South 18.7 percent, and the Midwest 11.7 percent.

Building Permits

Housing starts increased 9.3 percent above the revised October estimate; 685,000 to 627,000, and were up 24.3 percent from one year earlier.  The October estimate was revised downward from the 630,000 originally reported.  Construction was begun on single family units at a rate of 447,000, 2.3 percent above Octobers revised estimate of 437,000.  Starts of units in multi-family buildings were are the rate of 230,000 compared to 174,000 in October.

Housing completions were at a rate of 542,000, down 5.6 percent from October and 1.6 percent below the November 2010 rate of 551,000.

At the end of the reporting period there were 73,400 outstanding permits for which construction had not yet begun.  This is 1.6 percent lower than the October figure.  More than half (39,600) of the permits are in the Southern Region with another 18,700 outstanding permits in the West.

Housing Starts