WASHINGTON Dec 16 U.S. homebuilding fell more
than expected in November, tumbling from a nine-year high as
construction activity declined broadly.
Groundbreaking on new housing projects dropped 18.7 percent
to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units, the
Commerce Department said on Friday. October's starts were
revised up to a 1.34 million-unit rate, the highest since July
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts
slipping to a 1.23 million-unit rate in November from the
previously reported 1.32 million pace. Starts fell in all four
regions last month. Housing starts data is very volatile
October's surge in home building had widened the gap between
permits and starts. As such, a drop in housing starts was widely
anticipated to bring them more in line with permits.
The housing market remains on solid ground even as mortgage
rates have jumped to more than two-year highs following the
election of Donald Trump as the next president. A survey on
Thursday showed homebuilders' confidence in December hitting its
highest level since July 2005, with builders anticipating strong
Last month, single-family home building, which accounts for
the largest share of the residential housing market, fell 4.1
percent to an 828,000-unit pace. Single-family starts rose to
nine-year high in October.
The housing market is being supported by a tightening labor
market, which is starting to drive up wages.
Housing starts for the volatile multi-family segment tumbled
45.1 percent to a 262,000-unit pace.
Permits for future construction fell 4.7 percent in
November. Single-family permits rose 0.5 percent last month,
while building permits for multi-family units dropped 13.0
(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)