Industry News

Home construction surges to 25-year high

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New-home construction for 2003 increased to 1.848 million units, the highest in 25 years, and 8.4 percent above the number of housing starts for 2002, the Commerce Department reported today. For December, the nation's home builders ramped up the pace of housing starts to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.088 million units, a 1.7 percent increase over November's revised estimate of 2.070 million units. "Builders completed an extraordinary year and remain upbeat about the strength of the market for the year ahead," said Kent Conine, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home and apartment builder in Dallas. "Builders continue to meet a robust demand fueled by low interest rates and solid house-price performance." Single-family starts increased 13.6 percent over the year before to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.664 million units. This was 0.6 percent below the all-time high in November. The seasonally adjusted rate for multifamily housing i...