Housing starts dip in December
After experiencing substantial growth in the fall to their highest level all year, housing starts fell a little anticlimactically in December, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. However, at their third-highest level for the year, they still exceeded economists’ expectations.
At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000, they were 9.8% below the revised November estimate of 1.11 million, though this was a 1.6% improvement over December 2012.
Similarly, single-family housing starts came in at 667,000, which was 7.0% below the revised November figure of 717,000.
End-of-the-year stumbling blocks aside, 2013 as a whole marked an 18.3% improvement over 2012, with an estimated 923,400 units started.
Overall, this was the best year for starts since 2007, but well under the 2.07 million peak from 2005.
Home Depot opens in Minot, N.D.
The Home Depot opened a new store in Minot, N.D., one of only a handful of new store openings in the United States for the world’s largest home improvement retailer in recent years.
The 104,000-sq.-ft. store with a 17,000-sq.-ft. garden center also operates an outdoor lumberyard measuring 96,000 sq. ft.
The store is the second Home Depot in North Dakota, the other being in Fargo, about four hours away. In the United States, the new store brings the Home Depot store count to 1,978, according to the store count stats on the company’s website.