The residential real estate recovery in the U.S. is best described as plodding, with the industry taking a step back in November for the first time in three months.
Housing starts declined 1.6 percent, the first drop since August, to a 1.03 million annualized rate from a revised 1.05 million pace in October that was stronger than previously estimated, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The decrease was led by a plunge in the South as other areas registered gains.
Building permits also fell last month, indicating a surge in construction is probably not in the cards for the immediate future. One positive aspect is that the recent turmoil in financial markets has pushed down interest rates, which combined with a strengthening job market, means homebuying will be within reach for more Americans next year.