Thursday, January 19, 2012

Housing Starts Fell in December

Housing starts fell slightly in December to a seasonally adjusted rate of 657,000 units, with permits also sliding slightly, according to a Census Bureau report released this morning. The 4.1% decline in starts leaves December’s rate above the 6-month average of 636,000 annual units. Compared with this time last year housing starts are up 24.9%, and have gained in six of the last seven months.

Despite the decline in overall starts seen in December, single family housing starts rose by 4.4%, their strongest one month gain in seven months. Total permits issued were 679,000 in December, down 0.1% from November, but up 7.8% from last year’s levels.

Although housing starts decreased slightly in December, the general upward trend remains. If the economy continues to avoid recession and create jobs, housing will continue to slowly improve, albeit from a low base. Even though housing starts have improved in recent months, they remain well below the long run average of 1.5 million units per year.

Read the report.

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