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Housing Starts Much Stronger Than Expected But With Large Caveats

  • Housing starts were far stronger than expected in November (1560k vs 1360k) but the gloss was taken off by a small miss for building permits (1460k vs 1465k), with the latter typically far less volatile.
  • With October starts actually revised down, it left starts surging 14.8% M/M in Nov and surprisingly driven by a 18% jump in single family vs 7% for multi-units.
  • There were some particularly volatile readings by region: northeast starts surged 100% (single unit 43%) whilst Midwest starts increased just 1% but with single unit starts jumping 50%.
  • Building permits meanwhile fell -2.5% after +1.8 M/M, comprised of single family +0.7% M/M vs multi-unit -8.5% M/M.
  • The permits details continue to grow a growing divide between single and multi-unit permissions, although that’s only been a correction back closer towards historically relative shares.

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