The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for November 2017.
Building Permits: Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,298,000. This is 1.4 percent (±1.7 percent)* below the revised October rate of 1,316,000 but is 3.4 percent (±2.3 percent) above the November 2016 rate of 1,255,000. Single-family authorizations in November were at a rate of 862,000; this is 1.4 percent (±1.6 percent)* above the revised October figure of 850,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 395,000 in November.
Housing Starts: Privately owned housing starts in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,297,000. This is 3.3 percent (±9.1 percent)* above the revised October estimate of 1,256,000 and is 12.9 percent (±11.7 percent) above the November 2016 rate of 1,149,000. Single-family housing starts in November were at a rate of 930,000; this is 5.3 percent (±10.2 percent)* above the revised October figure of 883,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 359,000.
Housing Completions: Privately owned housing completions in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,116,000. This is 6.1 percent (±10.4 percent)* below the revised October estimate of 1,189,000 and is 7.2 percent (±12.5 percent)* below the November 2016 rate of 1,203,000. Single-family housing completions in November were at a rate of 752,000; this is 4.6 percent (±12.0 percent)* below the revised October rate of 788,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 353,000.
The December report is scheduled for release on January 18, 2018.
In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take three months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2 percent) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percentage change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percentage changes are 90 percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply to the confidence intervals for percentage changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised 3 percent or less. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found at the Census Bureau’s website.
* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. In such cases, there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.