The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,089,000. This is 4.4 percent above the revised November estimate of 1,043,000 and is 5.3 percent above the December 2013 rate of 1,034,000.
Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 728,000, 7.2 percent above the revised November figure of 679,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 339,000.
An estimated 1,005,800 housing units were started in 2014. This is 8.8 percent above the 2013 figure of 924,900.
The figures "continue to be in line with our recent surveys, as builders have been becoming increasingly optimistic," said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.
"With overall starts ending the year above 1 million units for the first time since 2007, we expect this momentum to carry forward in 2015," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "A growing labor market and strengthening economy will spur steady growth in single-family housing production in the year ahead."
Single-family housing production rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 728,000 in December while multifamily starts edged 1 percent lower to 361,000 units.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,032,000. This is 1.9 percent below the revised November rate of 1,052,000, but is 1.0 percent above the December 2013 estimate of Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 667,000; this is 4.5 percent above the revised November figure of 638,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 338,000 in December. The Midwest and South posted gains of 6.7 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, while the Northeast and West dropped 16.8 percent and 20.5 percent.
An estimated 1,032,900 housing units were authorized by building permits in 2014. This is 4.2 percent above the 2013 figure of 990,800.