housing market remains strong, despite decline of new starts, says just-released report
The Commerce Department is reporting that building permits for new housing increased by 9.2 percent last month, their highest point since early 2007.
Those permits are for both single and multi-family projects and comprise more than 1.5 million units.
Single-family permits were up by 6.4 percent in January, while the multi-family permits revealed a vibrant 14.6 percent increase.
Despite those strong numbers, the same Commerce report showed that housing starts fell by some 3.6 percent in January, after increasing during the three previous months.
Although those numbers were on the down side, many analysts said the decline was less than expected, with CNBC reporting: “The housing market remains on solid footing, supported by the lowest mortgage rates in more than three years.”
The numbers also stack up well compared to where they were exactly a year ago, which is thought to be almost entirely due to declining interest rates.
The Commerce report, Monthly New Residential Construction, also noted that housing completions last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,280,000.
“This is 3.3 percent below the revised December estimate of 1,323,000, but it is 1.5 percent above the January 2019 rate of 1,261,000,” the report said.
By Garry Boulard
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