Encouraged by strong homebuyer demand, low interest rates, improving consumer sentiment and healthy house-price performance, homebuilders ramped up the pace at which they started new homes and apartments to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.70 million units in November, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. This was a 2.4 percent increase from an upwardly revised rate of 1.66 million units in October.
“The housing market remains a true bright spot amidst the slowly reviving economy, and we're ending 2002 on a high note,” said Gary Garczynski, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a homebuilder from Woodbridge, Va.
Single-family starts were up nearly 1 percent from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.39 million units in November. Multifamily starts rose 10 percent in November to a 307,000-unit rate, partially offsetting a big dip in the previous month.