The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said that privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,065,000. This is 2.0 percent below the revised December estimate of 1,087,000, but is 18.7 percent 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 percent below the revised December figure of 727,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 381,000.
Regionally in January, combined single- and multifamily housing production increased 6.5 percent in the South. Total starts fell in the Northeast, Midwest and West, with respective losses of 3.5 percent, 22.2 percent and 3.4 percent.
"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."
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 percent below the revised December rate of 1,060,000, but is 8.1 percent above the January 2014 estimate of 974,000.
Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 654,000; this is 3.1 percent 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.