Correction to Housing Starts Story

By Sarah Chaney and Sharon Nunn Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. housing starts rose last month to the highest level in more than a year, driven by gains in single-family home building in the South and West.

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Housing starts rose 3.3% in November from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.297 million, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Residential building permits, which can signal how much construction is in the pipeline, fell 1.4% to an annual pace of 1.298 million last month.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 3.1% decrease for starts and a 2.3% decline for permits.

Last month's gains were buoyed by new single-family construction, which grew to the highest level in a decade. Single-family building in the South and West both reached their highest monthly rates since July 2007.

Housing starts in October, which rose after being held down by hurricane effects in September, were revised down to a 1.256 million annual pace from an initial estimate of 1.290 million. Permits, which tend to be more reliable, were revised up to a 1.316 million rate from a 1.297 million rate.

Housing-starts data are volatile from month to month and can be subject to large revisions. Looking past monthly volatility, starts in the first 11 months of the year were up 3.1% from the same period in 2016. Permits during this period increased 5.8% from a year earlier.

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New residential construction hit a post-recession high in October 2016, and has moved sideways since.

Single-family home building has held this year near the highest levels since before the recession began, while construction of larger buildings eased as the market for new condominiums and apartments has cooled.

In November, multifamily construction of buildings with two or more units ticked down 1.6% from a month earlier, while permits for this same category declined 6.4%.

?Separate data ?showed home builders are optimistic about the housing market. Home-builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose this month to the highest level in more than 18 years, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday.

The Commerce report can be found at http://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/pdf/newresconst.pdf

Write to Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com and Sharon Nunn at sharon.nunn@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications

This article was corrected at 9:07 a.m. ET because it incorrectly stated the direction October building permits were revised in the fifth paragraph. They were revised up not down.

October permits were revised up to a 1.316 million rate from a 1.297 million rate. "U.S. Housing Starts Grew In November," at 8:45 a.m. ET, incorrectly stated they were revised down in the fifth paragraph. (Dec. 19, 2017)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 19, 2017 09:16 ET (14:16 GMT)