A big jump in apartment construction in the Midwest and South boosted the pace of homebuilding in November, marking a solid bounce back after tumbling in October. Construction of single-family houses also increased and reached an eight-year high.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that total housing starts — both houses and apartments— climbed 10.5 last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million homes. The increase reversed much of drop in stars during October.
There has been a sharp growth in homebuilding, with starts having increased 11 percent so far this year. Solid hiring over the past two years and relatively low interest rates have buoyed the real estate market, encouraging more people to upgrade to two new houses and sign rental leases.
Single-family house construction rose 7.6 percent last month to 768,000, the best reading since January 2008. The building of multi-family complexes, primarily apartments, advanced 18.1 percent.
The gains appear likely to continue over the next few months.
Building permits rose 11 percent in November to an annual rate of 1.29 million, with almost all of the increase coming from apartments. The additional permits suggest newfound momentum in construction after a choppy few months where growth appeared to be stalling.