Total housing starts in the US declined in December after strong readings for prior months due to weather-related delay effects in autumn. Total starts decreased 8 per cent to a 1.19 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD Friday. Nonetheless, over the course of 2017 single-family starts posted a strong year, increasing 8.5 per cent compared to 2016 to a level of 848,000.
Single-family starts decreased in December, falling 12 per cent to a 836,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate. The December number fell off an exceptionally strong November reading, which was revised up to a 948,000 annual rate.
Single-family permits, showed strength in December. They increased 1.8 per cent, reaching a post-recession high rate of 881,000.
US Housing Starts: December 2017
Multifamily starts were up 1 per cent to a 356,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in December. For the year, multifamily starts were down approximately 10 per cent, as apartment development levels off and the market finds a balance between supply and demand.
NAHB is forecasting a small decline for multifamily construction in 2018. Multifamily permits were down almost 4 per cent in December.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,302,000. This is 0.1 per cent below the revised No- vember rate of 1,303,000, but is 2.8 per cent above the December 2016 rate of 1,266,000. Single-family authorizations in Decem- ber were at a rate of 881,000; this is 1.8 per cent above the revised November figure of 865,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 382,000 in December.