Housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.608 million in December, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase was 16.9% above the revised November estimate of 1.375 million and 40.8% higher than the December 2018 rate of 1.142 million. Single-family home starts increased 11.2% from last month.
Housing activity increased in all four regions. Northeast and Midwest activity rose 25.5% and 37.3%, respectively. Activity in the West and South increased by 19.8% and 9.3%, respectively.
New building permits increased to 1.416 million in December, rising 3.9% over the month and 5.8% year-over-year. Single-family building permits declined slightly, 0.5%, from the revised November figure.
Housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.277 million, up 5.1% from the revised November estimate and 19.6% from the December 2018 rate.
Read the Census release.