Housing Starts Slump in December

Housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.192 million in December, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure was 8.2% below the November rate of 1.299 million and 6.0% lower than the December 2016 rate. Single-family home starts drove the decline, falling 11.8% from last month.

Housing activity decreased in each of the four regions as the Northeast, Midwest, South and West fell 4.3%, 2.2%, 14.2% and 0.9%, respectively.

New building permits were nearly unchanged during the month, falling 0.1% to 1.302 million. Multifamily declined 4.3%, while single-family building permits rose 1.8%. New building permits were up 2.8% from the December 2016 rate.

Housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.177 million, up 2.2% from the November estimate and 7.4% above the December 2016 rate.

Read the Census release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.
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