Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Building permits up, housing starts fall

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Housing units authorized by building permits were up year-over-year and month-to-month in December, even as housing starts and completions were down on a monthly and year-over-year basis, according to a report on new residential construction by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development."Builders have acted prudently by cutting back production during a period of low demand and uncertainty in the overall market," said Joe Robson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, in a statement. "With inventories so low, we're seeing an increase in permits as builders understand they need to ramp up production to take full advantage of the short window offered by the homebuyer tax credit and the expectations of increased demand as the economic recovery begins to take hold later in the year." In December, the number of privately owned housing units issued building permits rose an estimated 10.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annua...