Housing Starts Finish Year With A Bang

U.S. housing starts, thanks to the single-family market, finished 2020 on a surge, with December housing starts at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.669 million, a 5.8% increase over November and 5.2% increase compared to December 2019, while preliminary figures show housing starts for all of 2020 at 1.380 million, a 7% increase over 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development monthly new residential construction report.

Single-family starts in December were 1.338 million, up 12% from November and nearly 28% over December 2019, while 2020 single-family starts came in at 991,000, a 11.7% increase over 2019.

Multi-family starts didn’t fare as well, with 312,000 in December, down substantially from November and 40% down from December 2019, though coming in at 376,000 for the year, down only 3.2% from 2019.

Housing starts in 2020 hit their lowest point in April at 934,000, including 679,000 single-family and 240,000 multi-family.

U.S. housing building permits in December were 1.709 million, a 4.5% increase over November and 17.3% jump from December 2019, while finishing at 1.452 million for 2020, a 4.8% increase over 2019.

Single-family permits were 1.226 million in December, up 7.8% from November and ahead 30% from December 2019, while coming in at 977,000 for the year, a 13.3% increase over 2019. Multi-family permits were 437,000 for December, down slightly from November and down 7.8% from December 2019, and finishing at 429,400 for the year, down nearly 11% from 2019.

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