FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The Commerce Department's U.S. Census Bureau today released data on new residential construction  in November 2011. Permits for new housing units rose 5.7 percent in November, well-above private-sector expectations of a 1.7 percent decline. Housing starts soared to their highest level since April 2010, increasing 9.3 percent from October to November and 24.3 percent from November 2010. Private-sector analysts had expected an 0.3 percent rise.
Today's news was driven in large part by a significant upturn in multi-family housing starts - an increase of 25.3 percent from October to November 2011. The three-month average of multi-family starts is also up.
In response to today’s numbers, U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson issued the following statement: "While multi-family starts can be volatile from month-to-month, there are reasons to think that their recent rebound is not temporary. Rents have been rising and other indices point to continued improvement in the sector. Renewed strength in U.S. housing, coupled with the House voting to extend a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million Americans, would auger good things for the U.S. economy in the new year."