Housing starts in the US reached a 12-year high in December, rising 40.8pc over the same month in 2018, according to US Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development data.
Housing starts in December 2019 increased by 16.9pc over the previous month, according to the data. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for housing starts reached 1.6mn.
Single-family housing starts increased 11.2pc in December to 1mn over the previous month. Buildings with at least five housing units reached 536,000 starts.
However building permits in December 2019 declined by 3.9pc compared to the previous month, with housing units authorized by permits reaching 1.4mn. Compared to the same month in 2018, permits in December 2019 were up 5.8pc. At 916,000, permits for single-family homes declined 0.5pc in December from a month earlier. Permits for buildings with at least five units totaled 458,000.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing completion in December 2019 totaled 1.3mn, a 5.1pc increase over November, and a 19.6pc rise over December 2018.