This chart from NAHB illustrates the current recovery in housing starts but also shows just how much building activity is down from a decade ago.

Housing Starts Slip Slightly in November

Dec. 30, 2014

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Washington, D.C., said the pace of total November housing starts was down 1.6% from an upwardly revised October number. The October housing starts estimate was revised up from the initial reading of 1.009 million units (on a seasonally adjusted annual pace) to 1.045 million, with increases for both single-family and multifamily construction. On a three-month moving average basis, total housing starts recorded a post-recession high and have now been above a one million annual rate for three consecutive months.

The rate of single-family construction starts came in at 677,000 in November, down 5.4% from the elevated October reading (716,000). On a three-month moving average basis, the single-family starts rate stands at 685,000, which is also a post-recession high. Multifamily starts of properties with five or more units increased 7.6% to a 340,000 rate in November. The starts rate for 5+ unit construction has been in an approximate stable range of 300,000 to 350,000 since August.