Housing starts slide
In a statement to be released today, the U.S. Commerce Department is reporting that housing starts fell in December by 4.1 percent, far more than was anticipated, even taking into account the holidays. Multifamily housing starts took a dip, unlike previous months wherein they were the strongest factor in the growth of housing starts.
The news has dampened the sentiment that new home construction was poised to improve, followed by other industry sectors.
Housing starts of buildings with five or more units dropped an astonishing 27.8 percent, the largest drop seen since February 2011.
The saving grace for not falling further was the fact that starts of single family homes actual rose 4.5 percent in December, a sector which previously had been in decline, proving 2011 trends to be flipped just as the year ended.
Housing permits fell 0.1 percent, a forward-looking indicator signals that housing starts for the first of the year will likely remain weak.