The housing market looks good this month, with housing starts posting monthly and annual double-digit growth. And while the Housing Market Index fell a point this month, builder confidence remains strong in the low 60s.
Privately-owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,173,000 in November, 10.5 percent above the revised October estimate of 1,062,000 and 16.5 percent above the November 2014 rate of 1,007,000.
Single-family housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 768,000 in November, 7.6 percent below the revised October figure of 714,000.
Privately-owned housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 947,000 in November, which is 3.2 percent below the revised October estimate of 978,000 but 9.2 percent above the November 2014 rate of 867,000.
Single-family housing completions were at a rate of 632,000 in November. This is 0.3 percent above the revised October rate of 630,000.
Housing market index
The Housing Market Index dipped one point to 61 in December. However, the index has been in a state of recovery for much of 2015.
“For the past seven months, builder confidence levels have averaged in the low 60s, which is in line with a gradual, consistent recovery,” said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe. “With job creation, economic growth and growing household formations, we anticipate the housing market to continue to pick up traction as we head into 2016.”
All three HMI components posted losses in December. The index measuring sales expectations in the next six months and the index charting buyer traffic each dropped two points to 67 and 46, respectively. The component gauging current sales conditions decreased one point to 66.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West rose three points to 76 and the Northeast increased one point to 50. The Midwest dropped two points to 58 and the South declined one point to 64.