New home construction & permits

New-home construction activity increases, amid a surge in building permits…
U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of roughly 1.7 million in December, representing a 1% increase from the previous month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday. Compared with December 2020, housing starts were up 2.5%. Meanwhile, permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.87 million, up 9% from November and 6.5% from a year ago…

Most of the boost in permitting activity stemmed from a swathe of authorizations for multifamily buildings and projects with between two and four housing units. Single-family permits only increased 2% between November and December.

Similarly, the number of single-family homes that builders started construction on actually dropped by roughly 2% on a monthly basis. The overall increase in housing starts was driven by a nearly 14% gain in construction on multifamily projects.