Construction of single-family homes slowed in November, dragging down total residential building rates, according to a US Commerce Department report released Tuesday.
All privately owned housing starts in November posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.028 million, a 1.6 percent decrease from the revised October estimated of 1.045 million. The overall housing starts from last month were 7 percent lower than the November 2013 rate of 1.105 million.
Within the single-family sector, housing starts reached a rate of 677,000 — a 5.4 percent decrease from October’s 716,000. In contrast, the pace in multi-family buildings with five units or more rose 7.6 percent to 340,000.
New housing units authorized by building permits — an indicator of future demand — posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.035 million, 5.2 percent below the revised October rate of 1.092 million and 0.2 percent below the November 2013 estimate of 1.037 million. The issue rate for new single-family building permits dipped 1.2 percent from October to 639,000, while multi-family building permits, which tend to be more volatile, dropped 11.1 percent.