The year of residential construction ended with a dud in December. Housing starts slipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,192,000 — down 8.2% from the revised November estimate.
Single-family starts in December were at a pace of 836,000 — down 11.8% from the revised November figure. Single-family building permits were up 1.8%.
Compared to a year ago, December’s rate of total starts were down 6.0%. And for those looking for bright spots from a dreary report, single-family starts increased 3.5% year-over-year.
Despite the variety of declines contained in Thursday morning’s report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the preliminary 12-month total for 2017 housing starts — not the rate, but the actual number — rose to 1,202,000. That’s 2.4% above the 2016 figure of 1,173,800.
On a regional basis, the government data showed the following for December’s SAAR:
Year over year change
- Northeast — down 1.1%
- Midwest — down 19.8%
- South — up 2.8%
- West — up 12.0%
- Northeast — down 4.3%
- Midwest — down 2.2%
- South — down 14.2%
- West — down 0.9%
View the Census data here.