Housing Starts Jump Out Of Gate Slowly, But Building Permits Looking Good

U.S. housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.580 million for January, a 6% decrease from December and 2.3% below January a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development monthly new residential construction report.

Single-family housing starts were 1.162 million, down 12.2% from December, but up 17.5% from January 2020. Multi-family starts however climbed to 402,000 for January, up 16.2% from December, though down 35.1% from January 2020.

The monthly downward slip was the first for single-family starts following four consecutive monthly increases.

Housing starts in 2020 hit their lowest point in April at 934,000, but rebounded for the year to 1.38 million, compared to 1.29 million in 2019. Single-family starts were 990.1 million in 2020.

U.S. housing building permits in January were 1.881 million, a 10.4% increase over December and 22.5% ahead of January 2020. Single-family accounted for 1.269 million permits, 3.8% above December and 29.9% above January 2020. Multi-family permits were at 557,000 in January, 28% ahead of December and 7.9% more than January 2020.

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