Housing starts, housing completions and building permits were up in November compared to the same month in 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today.

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 2,155,000, which is 2.5 percent above the revised October rate of 2,103,000 and is 3 percent above the November 2004 estimate of 2,093,000.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate is a projection of a monthly total over a 12-month period, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations in construction activity.

Single-family authorizations in November were at a rate of about 1,710,000, which is 0.2 percent above the October figure of 1,707,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 361,000 in November.

Privately owned housing starts in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 2,123,000, which is 5.3 percent above the revised October estimate of 2,017,000 and is 17.5 percent above the November 2004 rate of 1,807,000.

Single-family housing starts in November 2005 were at a rate of about 1,808,000, which is 4.8 percent above the October figure of 1,725,000 and about 17.5 percent above the November 2004 rate. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 277,000.

Privately owned housing completions in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1,837,000, which is 4.9 percent below the revised October estimate of 1,932,000, but is 6.5 percent above the November 2004 rate of 1,725,000.

Single-family housing completions in November 2005 were at a rate of about 1,579,000, which is 0.6 percent below the October figure of 1,588,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 238,000.

The Census Bureau noted that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular, and it may take four months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as non-sampling error including bias and variance from response, non-reporting, and under-coverage.

On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised about 1 percent, according to the announcement.

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