New housing starts reach 2023 highs

New residential area | mortgage rate news

Housing starts looking up heading into the New Year

According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, new housing starts topped 1.5 million in November 2023. The number actually came in at 1.56 million and topped the mark in November 2023 by 9.3%.

Single-family homes accounted for 1.143 million unites and multi-family homes accounting for 404,000 units.

Also in the report, construction permits dipped when comparing November 2023 to October 2023. However, construction permits were 22.8% higher than November 2022.

Builders are recognizing the current gaps in the market and are starting to pick up the pace of new construction. Most of these units should start coming available in late Winter or early Spring, and may have a positive impact on housing sales if rates continue to tick lower.

How are mortgage rates doing?

It’s widely believed that the mortgage market has entered holiday trade. The national average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate ticked down 0.01% to 6.64%*. While its good to see the national average grind downwards, the market has barely moved this week.

Some market watchers believe that, unless there’s a dramatic event, we may be stuck around this level until after the New Year.

What were the top real estate markets of 2023?

While there are still a few days before we can close the book on 2023 and say ‘hello’ to 2024, we can take a look at the markets that excelled in a challenging housing market.

A recent report detailed the most searched housing markets in the U.S. The top 10 markets were dominated by the Northeast with a little sprinkle of Rust Belt.

West Chester, PA was the most searched market in the U.S. in 2023. Small, affluent towns in New Hampshire and Connecticut picked up seven of the 10 most popular markets, and two towns in Ohio, Stown and Twinsburg, came in sixth and eighth.

In 2021, the same survey was led by West Coast towns, and last year a Midwestern town took the top spot. It’s clear that the housing market is rarely predictable, and niche markets can gain popularity overnight.

* National average rates accurate as of 12/19/23 from and are not advertised rates from Guaranteed Rate.

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