Building permits, housing starts, and housing completions rose in December, according to a Commerce Department report [link opens in PDF] released today. After a lackluster November report, these newest numbers might spark optimism about a housing recovery.
Housing starts for December rose 12.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000. For the 2012 year, 780,000 housing units were started, 28.1% more than 2011's total starts.
Building permits rose 0.3% above November's 900,000 rate and 28.8% above December 2011's figure. In 2012, 813,400 units were granted permits, 30.3% more than in 2011.
Housing completions also improved in December, increasing 1.6% over November's rate and 13.2% above December 2011's figure. In 2012, approximately 651,400 housing units were completed, 11.4% more than in 2011.
This newest improvement in permits, starts, and completions comes a day after the National Association of Home Builders announced steady homebuilder confidence for January.