Builders Pull Back on Single-Family Starts to End Strong Fall Season

Single-family housing starts fell 4% in November after construction activity hit a four-year high in the previous two months.

The Census Bureau reported Wednesday morning that single-family starts fell to a 565,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate from a 589,000 rate in October. The September rate was 590,000 units, which is the highest since August 2008.

Economists at JPMorgan Chase Bank were expecting a pullback because single-family starts have been “running stronger” than construction permits over the past few months.  

During the first 10 months of this year, builders started construction on 497,000 units.

Analysts at Wells Fargo Securities estimate the yearend total will be 535,000 starts and single-family starts will jump 27% in 2013 to 680,000 units.

“We see homebuilding ramping up significantly in 2013,” the WFS analysts wrote in a Dec. 17 report.

Meanwhile, multifamily starts rose 1.4% in November to a 285,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate from a 281,000 rate in October.

Overall, multifamily starts are up 19% from a year ago and single-family starts are up 23% from November 2011.