On Thursday morning, the Commerce Department reported November starts at a pace of 555,000, and single-family starts at a pace of 465,000.
"The modest increase in single-family starts and permits in November is consistent with a very low inventory of unsold new homes, and our member surveys that have shown a degree of optimism among builders with regard to sales expectations in the next six months," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "However, builders continue to find it extremely difficult to obtain credit for acquisition, development and construction activities, and this is weighing on their ability to initiate viable new projects that could generate much-needed job growth."
The 3.9% gain in overall housing starts this November was due entirely to a 6.9% increase to a 465,000 unit seasonally adjusted annual rate of new-home production on the single-family side. Meanwhile, multi-family housing starts declined 9.1% to a 90,000-unit rate.