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Housing permits, starts both fall in January

Completions decline as well

January was a bad month for housing starts, completions and permits, reflecting perhaps the reason for homebuilder confidence to likewise be down for February.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,053,000.

This is 0.7% below the revised December rate of 1,060,000, but is 8.1% above the January 2014 estimate of 974,000.

“It’s fair to say a rough winter had an impact on January’s home construction report,” said Bill Banfield, vice president at Quicken Loans. “When you take a step back and look at year-over-year growth, we continue to see a healthy and steady increase in housing starts. Expect this pace to continue as we break into spring.”

Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 654,000; this is 3.1% below the revised December figure of 675,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 372,000 in January.

Privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,065,000. This is 2.0% below the revised December estimate of 1,087,000, but is 18.7% above the January 2014 rate of 897,000.

Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 678,000; this is 6.7% below the revised December figure of 727,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 381,000.

Single-family housing completions in January were at a rate of 649,000; this is 2.3% below the revised December rate of 664,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 274,000. 

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