Total housing starts decreased 3.6% in January from an upwardly revised December reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.57 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. Meanwhile, overall permits surged to a 13-year high.
The January reading of 1.57 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts decreased 5.9% to a 1.01 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 0.7% to a 557,000 pace.
“The housing recovery continues, as single-family housing starts have surpassed 1 million for the second consecutive month and multifamily production has been running above 500,000 for the same period,” said Dean Mon, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Shrewsbury, N.J. “Meanwhile, builder confidence remains solid as demand continues to pick up.”