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Housing Starts Reach Highest Rate in Almost 6 Years

November saw new housing starts jump to a nearly six-year high, the ""Census Bureau"":http://www.census.gov/ and ""HUD"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD revealed Wednesday in a ""joint release"":http://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/pdf/newresconst.pdf.

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According to initial estimates, starts ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million, a 22.7 percent spike from October and the highest rate since February 2008. Last November, Census/HUD reported a rate of 842,000.

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Housing starts were at an adjusted annual rate of 889,000 in October, which in turn represented an increase from September; the release of that data was delayed until Wednesday due to budget concerns following the month's shutdown.

The improvements in new construction happened through two months in which builder confidence (as measured by the ""National Association of Home Builders"":http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx) remained stagnant at an index reading of 54. It remains to be seen how ""December's climb"":https://themreport.com/articles/builder-confidence-ends-year-on-high-note-2013-12-17 in confidence might affect new starts going into 2014.

Single-family housing starts contributed 727,000 (adjusted annual rate) to November's total, while the rate for multifamily buildings was about 354,000.

Building permits in November were issued at a rate of 1.01 million, a slight decline from October's five-year high--but still an elevated rate compared to recent months. Single-family permits were issued at a rate of 634,000, a 2.1 percent bump from October's revised figure of 621,000.

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