Nationwide housing starts fell 2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.065 million units in January, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. This drop was mainly due to a 22.2% decrease in total construction starts in the Midwest.
Single-family housing production fell 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 678,000 in January, anchored by a 30.8% plunge in the Midwest. Multifamily starts rose 7.5% to 387,000 units.
“These numbers are consistent with our recent surveys and are primarily due to severe weather hitting the Midwest and other parts of the country,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.
“After a strong single-family report in December, it is not surprising to see some pull back in January,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “With continued job creation and a growing economy, single-family production should make gains in the year ahead.”
In addition to the Midwest’s 22.2% plunge, combined single- and multifamily housing production in the country’s regions:
- Increased 6.5% in the South
- Fell 3.5% in the Northeast
- Fell 3.4% in the West
Overall permit issuance was down 0.7% in January to a rate of 1.053 million. Single-family permits decreased 3.1% to 654,000 units while multifamily permits rose 3.6% to a rate of 399,000 units.
Regionally, the change in permit issuance was mixed in January:
- Increased 29.5% in the Northeast
- Increased 16.8% in the West
- Dropped 16.0% in the Midwest
- Dropped 8.7% in the South