Industry News

California housing starts decline

Annualized production rate drops 1.4% from January

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California housing starts fell in February from January's 14,292-unit level, but are still on track to break the 200,000-unit barrier in 2004, the California Building Industry Association reported today. Single-family housing starts, as measured by building permits issued, totaled 9,912 in February, down 12.1 percent from January and down 1.7 percent from February 2003, according to figures released by the Burbank-based Construction Industry Research Board. Multifamily starts – which often fluctuate sharply from month to month – were up 28.3 percent from January but down 46.1 percent from February 2003. That month's figures were extremely high because builders were rushing to beat hefty fee increases that went into effect in March in many jurisdictions. In all, builders pulled permits on 14,193 homes, apartments, and condominiums in February, down 2.9 percent from January and down 21.3 percent from February 2003. On a seasonally adjusted basis, production was down 1.4...