Housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.246 million in January, 2.6% below the revised December rate of 1.279 million, but 10.5% above the January 2016 rate.
Housing activity increased in two out of the four regions. The Northeast and the South saw housing starts jump 55.4% and 20.0%, respectively. The West and the Midwest, however, experienced declines of 41.3% and 17.9%, respectively.
New building permits increased during the month, rising 4.6% to 1.285 million. Permits were up 8.2% from the January 2016 rate.
Housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.047 million, down 5.6% from the revised December estimate and 0.9% below the January 2016 rate.
Read the Census release.