Industry News

Housing starts, building permits drop in December

Housing completions still higher than a year ago, report finds

The rate of housing starts dropped an estimated 5.7 percent from December 2004 to December 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today, while the rate of building permit authorizations was down about 0.6 percent. Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 2,068,000. This is 4.4 percent below the revised November rate of 2,163,000 and a 0.6 percent below the December 2004 estimate of 2,081,000, the agencies announced. The seasonally adjusted annual rate projects a monthly total over a 12-month period, adjusting for seasonal variations in the market. Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of about 1,637,000; this is 5 percent below the November figure of 1,724,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 347,000 in December. An estimated 2,141,200 housing units were authorized by building permits in...