Starts: Northeast and West benefit most

Data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau tell the story of two regions generating the lion's share of new residential construction in November: the Northeast and West.

The surprisingly strong housing start report, which showed a 9.3% increase over October, varied significantly by region. The biggest gain came from the West, where a 66.3% year-over-year increase in total housing starts was reported. The Northeast showed a 53.89% gain in total housing starts on a month-to-month basis.

While the national report was all positive, the Midwest actually showed declines in both a month-to-month and year-to-year basis for total and single-family starts. The biggest drop was a 20.7% decline in single-family starts on a year-to-year basis.

The Northeast and West showed positive growth in all four metrics, while the South was split -- total starts showed growth, while single-family starts declined 1.3% on a month-to-month basis.

November month-to-month housing-start % change

   Total   Single-family
 Northeast   53.8%  35.7% 
 Midwest   (18.2%)   (14.5%)
 South   4.1%   (1.3%)
 West   22.6%  10.7%


November year-over-year housing start % change

   Total   Single-family
 Northeast   28.2%  7.5%   
 Midwest   (16.7%)  (20.7%)
 South   24.3%  (3.3%)
 West   66.3%  17.7%