California’s home builders continued to post strong gains in housing starts in November, the California Building Industry Association announced today.

New housing units as measured by building permits issued totaled 17,460 for the month, up 2.5 percent from October and up a resounding 31.4 percent from November 2003. Of that total, 10,922 units were single-family homes and 6,538 units were apartments and condominiums. Single-family production rose 15.1 percent compared to November 2003, falling 3.8 percent from October 2004. Multifamily starts, meanwhile, rose by 72.5 percent compared to November 2003 and 15.2 percent compared to October.

During the first 11 months of 2004, construction began on 191,493 homes and apartments, an increase of 11,856 (6.6 percent) compared to the same period a year ago. Of those, 139,112 were single-family and 52,381 were multifamily units. The single-family total represented a 9.3 percent increase from the previous year, while multifamily production was up a slight 0.1 percent.

During the first 11 months of 2004, 14 of California’s 28 metro areas had gains in total units, 16 in single-family units and 13 in multifamily units. Southern California continues to lead the charge with the Riverside-San Bernardino and Los Angeles metro areas posting gains of 8,920 and 3,907 total units, respectively, from the same period a year ago.

Because of the continuing strong demand for housing and still-favorable mortgage interest rates, CBIA Chief Economist Alan Nevin forecasts that housing starts for all of 2004 will total 210,000, up a robust 7.3 percent from 2003’s total of 195,682. It now appears all but certain that 2004 will be the first year since 1989 that total production topped the 200,000 mark.

The California Building Industry Association is a statewide trade association representing more than 6,000 building professionals.

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