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Housing Starts Up 14.6 Percent in January

by Chicago Agent

According to mam.Econoday.com, U.S. housing starts have climbed in the month of January.

Workers with pre-assembled timber roof section

Image by Construction Photography/Corbis

An increase of 14.6 percent starts in January has been reported, after a 5.1 decrease in activity the month before. The January annualized pace is reported at 0.56 million units.

The gain was entirely due to a 77.7 percent increase in the multifamily sector, where significant month-to-month swings in activity are not unusual and where new building has been below expectations for the past several months. Meanwhile, single-family housing starts remained virtually flat for the month, with a 1.0 percent decline.

“Considering the abnormally poor weather conditions that prevailed across most of the country last month, along with the continuing difficulty that builders are having in obtaining financing for new construction, the fact that single-family starts held virtually unchanged while multifamily starts posted solid gains is encouraging,” says Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Any gain in housing production means more people are being put back to work, and is a sign that builders are preparing for improving demand for new homes in the spring.”

Despite the positive activity of housing starts, numbers for permits fell 10.4 percent in January, reports Econoday. The overall annualized rate for permits is cited at 0.562 million units.

Gains in housing starts were seen in the Northeast, Midwest and South; with increases of 41.8 percent, 36.4 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively. In the West, housing starts declined 9.7 percent.

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