The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said that housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,099,000. This is 3.8 percent below the revised December estimate of 1,143,000, but is 1.8 percent above the January 2015 rate of 1,080,000.
Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 731,000; this is 3.9 percent below the revised December figure of 761,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 354,000.
"January's production numbers are in line with our recent HMI reading and show that builders are being cautious as they face some market uncertainties and supply side constraints," said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.
"Despite the modest dip in starts this month, we expect to see ongoing, gradual growth in housing production in 2016," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "An improving economy, solid job creation and pent-up demand for housing should keep the market moving forward."
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,202,000. This is 0.2 percent below the revised December rate of 1,204,000, but is 13.5 percent above the January 2015 estimate of 1,059,000.
Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 720,000; this is 1.6 percent below the revised December figure of 732,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 442,000 in January.
Regionally, the Midwest, West and South registered respective permit gains of 26.5 percent, 24.5 percent and 0.3 percent. Permits fell in the Northeast by 55.4 percent.