Home building spiked up in November to the strongest level in almost two years, as record-low mortgage rates and a surge in apartment and condo construction lifted activity.
Housing starts shot up to an annual rate of 685,000 in the month, up 9.3% from October and 24.3% higher than a year earlier. Building activity easily topped predictions of 627,000 starts economists surveyed by Briefing.com were expecting.
Building permits, a closely-watched reading that is less affected by weather than actual starts, also shot up, rising 5.7% from October and 20.7% from the year before to 681,000 homes annually.
Read it all"By historical standards, homebuilding activity is still very depressed, but at least it appears to be on an established upward trend," said Paul Diggle, property economist at Capital Economics.