Privately owned housing starts were up 12.8 percent year over year in October, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The inventory-deprived housing market could be getting some welcome relief from builders. Privately owned housing starts were up 12.8 percent year-over-year and 1.2 percent month over month in November, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Bill Banfield | Photo credit: Quicken Loans

“With heightened levels of construction continuing well into autumn, it’s clear builders understand more new houses are desperately needed,” Bill Banfield, the executive vice president of capital markets at Rocket Mortgage, said in a statement. “Inventory levels remain near all-time lows, so home construction will play a crucial role in making sure prices remain affordable throughout 2021.”

Privately owned housing units that are authorized by new permits were reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than 1.6 million in November, an increase of 6.2 percent month over month and 8.5 percent year over year.

In the single-family only sector, permits were up 1.3 percent over October.

The relief that the boom in new construction will provide is yet to hit the market, however, as housing completions were down both monthly and annually, in November. Housing completions were down 12.1 percent from October and 4.8 percent year over year.

Two straight months of strong forward-looking indicators for the housing construction sector has the building industry feeling confident, according to monthly data compiled by the National Association of Homebuilders.

The trade group’s monthly builder confidence indicator was the second-highest in history this month, since the group began collecting the data 35 years ago.

Email Patrick Kearns

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