U.S. new home construction activities declined in November following a strong growth in October, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
Last month, U.S. privately-owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 861,000, a level 3.0 percent below the revised October estimate of 888,000 and fastest since July 2008. But the housing starts last month were 21.6 percent higher than in November 2011.
Single-family housing starts in November were at a rate of 565,000, 4.1 percent below the revised October figure of 589,000.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits, a gauge of future construction, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 899,000, up 3.6 percent from the revised October level and 26.8 percent from the estimate one year ago.
The U.S. housing industry, which suffered its worst slump in decades in 2007, has showed signs of steady improvement this year. So far the housing starts are far above the recession low, but still fall short of the level consistent with a healthy market.
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