Housing starts in December at highest level since 2008

With numbers like these in housing, which is typically a strong driver during economic recoveries, we could see a stronger economy in 2013 than many are expecting.

From Calculated Risk’s Calculated Risk: Housing Starts increase sharply to 954 thousand SAAR in December:

Total housing starts were at 954 thousand (SAAR) in December, up 12.1% from the revised November rate of 851 thousand (SAAR).

Total starts has doubled from the bottom start rate, and single family starts are up about 75 percent from the low.

This was well above expectations of 887 thousand starts in December. Starts in December were up 36.9% from December 2011, and starts are up 28.1% from the 2011 level.

Single-family starts accounted for 616,000 of those total starts.

Again, from Calculated Risk, a graph showing just how far housing starts fell during the housing bust and the sharp recovery recently — a recovery that still has a lot farther to go: