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Housing Starts Strong in Dec. 2012

The total number of housing starts in December 2012 was 12.1 percent better than the November estimate, and 36.9 percent above the total recorded in December 2011.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of U.S. housing starts reached their highest level of 2012 during December.

The December total of 954,000 was 12.1 percent better than the November estimate, and 36.9 percent above the total recorded in December 2011.

For 2012 as a whole, total housing starts in 2012 reached 780,000.  This was 28.1 percent better than the 2011 total, and the highest level in 4 years.

Despite the encouraging trend, historical perspective is still critically important. The 2012 starts total remains more than 62 percent below the total of 2,068,300 housing units (single-family homes, condos, co-ops and apartments) on which builders broke ground during 2005.

Related: Home Remodeling Spending to Grow 20% in 2013

The current consensus among housing market forecasters is that starts will continue to increase at annual rates in excess of 20 percent in both of the next two years, to 962,000 in 2013 and then to a total of 1,160,000 during 2014. 

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