January 2014 Housing Starts Plunge 16% as Weather Buffets Industry

January 2014 U.S. housing starts plunged 16 percent from December numbers to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000 units. The second consecutive month of steep housing declines is attributed largely to the severity of winter storms buffeting most of the nation.

January's numbers are just 2 percent below those from January 2013.

Single-family housing starts dropped 16 percent to a 573,000-unit pace from December to January. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts for multifamily residential buildings with five or more units fell 13 percent to 300,000.

Housing permits were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 937,000 units, 5.4 percent below the December rate but 2.4 percent above January 2013.

Single-family permit authorizations in January were at a rate of 602,000, 1.3 percent below December's figure.