U.S. homebuilding surged to an eight-month high in November amid an acute shortage of properties on the market, though higher prices for raw materials and labor shortages remain a constraint. Housing starts increased 11.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.679 million units last month, the highest level since March. Permits for future homebuilding increased 3.6% to a rate of 1.712 million units in November. Starts dropped from the 1.725 million unit-pace scaled in March, which was more than a 14-1/2-year high as builders struggled with shortages and more expensive raw materials. Nonresidential construction input prices increased by nearly 25% in the 12 months through November, according to producer price data released this week. There is a huge backlog of houses authorized for construction but not yet started. A survey from the National Association of Home Builders on Wednesday showed confidence among single-family homebuilders rose for a fourth straight month in December, but noted that “finding workers, predicting pricing and dealing with material delays remains a challenge.
New business formation climbed sharply in Oregon as the pandemic recession eased, with entrepreneurs leaping in to start new companies this year at an unprecedented rate. Oregonians started an average of 4,100 businesses each month over the past year, an increase of more than 25% from the same period in the 12 months before the pandemic, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. That’s the fastest pace in the 17 years for which the government has Oregon numbers.