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Financial News: U.S. Housing Starts Rebound In December But Building

U.S. Housing Starts Rebound In December But Building Permits Dip

01/19/2017 - 09:22:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - After reporting a steep drop in new U.S. residential construction in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing that housing starts saw a significant rebound in the month of December.

The Commerce Department said housing starts jumped by 11.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.226 million in December after tumbling by 16.5 percent to a revised November rate of 1.102 million.

Economists had expected housing starts to rise to an annual rate of 1.200 million from the 1.090 million originally reported for the previous month.

The rebound reflected a bounced back in multi-family starts, which surged up by 57.3 percent to a rate of 431,000 in December after plunging by 39.4 percent to a rate of 274,000 in November.

The jump in multi-family starts offset a drop in single-family starts, which fell by 4.0 percent to a rate of 795,000 in December from 828,000 in November.

Meanwhile, the report said building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, edged down by 0.2 percent to a rate of 1.210 million in December from 1.212 million in November.

Building permits had been expected to rise to 1.230 million from the 1.201 million originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected drop in building permits came amid a continued decrease in multi-family permits, which fell by 9 percent to a rate of 393,000 in December from 432,000 in November.

On the other hand, the report said single-family permits climbed by 4.7 percent to a rate of 817,000 in December from 780,000 in November.

The National Association of Home Builders released a separate report on Wednesday showing a modest pullback in homebuilder confidence in the month of January.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dipped to 67 in January after jumping to 69 in December. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 69 from the 70 originally reported for the previous month.

The modest pullback by the housing market index came after it reached its highest level since July of 2005 in December.

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