Nationwide housing starts increased 10.8 percent to 1.11 million units in 2015, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Commerce Department. Single-family starts posted a yearly gain of 10.4 percent to 715,000 units.
“These numbers are in line with what our members are telling us that housing markets are improving, but lot and labor shortages continue to be a problem for many builders,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.
“The gradual increase in housing production for 2015 mirrors our forecast and sets the stage for continued growth in 2016,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Strong job growth, rising consumer confidence and pent-up demand will keep housing on an upward trend.”
In December, single-family starts fell 3.3 percent to 768,000 units from an upwardly revised November reading of 794,000 units. Except for November, this was the highest monthly total for single-family housing starts in 2015. Meanwhile, multifamily starts in December fell 1 percent to 381,000 units.
Regionally in December, combined single-family and multifamily starts rose 24.4 percent in the Northeast but fell 12.4 percent in the Midwest, 3.3 percent in the South and 7.6 percent in the West.
Overall permit issuance increased 12 percent to 1.178 million units in 2015. Permit issuance in December fell 3.9 percent to 1.232 million units. Single-family permits increased 7.9 percent to 691,000 units while multifamily permits fell 11.4 percent to 492,000 units.