Pace of Housing Starts Best in Four Years

Washington, DC, Dec. 19, 2012 -- Builders started fewer homes in November as Superstorm Sandy likely slowed starts in the Northeast.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that builders began construction of houses and apartments at an annual rate of 861,000. That was 3% less than October's annual rate of 888,000, the fastest since July 2008.

Nevertheless, housing starts remain on track for their best year in four years.

Also, applications for building permits rose to 899,000 in November, the most since July 2008.

The overall decline in construction in November was due mostly to single-family homes.

Housing starts were 21.6% higher in November than a year ago.