Housing Starts Fall 14.8% in January

Housing starts declined 14.8% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million. The rate is down 0.7% compared with January 2023.

The decline was largely in the multifamily sector, which fell 35.6%. Single family home starts dropped 4.7%.

“Multifamily construction is forecasted to post a large decline in 2024 as the number of units currently under construction is near the highest level since 1973,” stated Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. “Meanwhile, single-family production, which is currently running at a 1-million-unit annual rate, is roughly in line with builder sentiment that remains right below a breakeven level, according to our latest surveys. We are forecasting single-family starts to post a modest gain in 2024 as mortgage rates moderate on expected interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve later this year.”

Regionally, housing starts fell 20.6% in the Northeast, 30.0% in the Midwest, 9.7% in the South and 15.7% in the West.

Housing permits fell 1.5% to 1.47 million and housing completions declined 8.1% to 1.41 million.


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