Homebuilding Likely Languished in December, Lagging Recovery

Economists estimate December housing starts dropped .9% to 550,000

Homebuilding probably dropped in December and sales of existing houses struggled to rebound from a post-tax-credit slump, reflecting a market trying to regain its footing more than a year into the economic recovery, economists said before reports this week. Builders began work on 550,000 houses at an annual rate, down 0.9% from November, according to the median estimate of 61 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before Commerce Department data Jan 19. (More at Bloomberg.com . . . )