Residential construction declines in December

Housing starts data is finally released, and the picture isn’t pretty

BY HBSDealer Staff

After a long delay caused by the government shutdown, the Commerce Department Tuesday morning released residential construction statistics for December. The numbers show a double-digit percent drop from November’s pace.

Housing starts for December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,078,000, that’s down 11.2% compared to the downwardly revised November rate of 1,214,000. Total starts are at their lowest rate since Septebmer of 2016, when the figure was 1,064,000.

Single‐family housing starts were also down, but not as dramatically. These came in at a rate of 758,000, a 6.7% decline from the revised November figure of 812,000.

[See the Commerce Department’s full report here.]

On a positive note, building permits came in at a rate of 1,326,000, up 0.3% from November.

For the full year, an estimated 1,246,600 housing units were started. That’s up 3.6% from 2017.


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